POULSBO — All 49 students were uninjured during a school bus accident at about 7:50 a.m. Sept. 5 on Hostmark Street just west of 8th Avenue, North Kitsap School District community relations director Chris Case said.
The accident occurred when the driver suffered from a yet-to-be- disclosed medical emergency while driving the bus, and struck two vehicles before ramming a utility pole and coming to a complete stop, said Poulsbo Fire Department Capt. Bob Brooks.
“The bus driver had a medical emergency before the accident,” he said. “All the children are fine, though. The bus driver was transported to (Harrison Hospital) and he is in serious condition.”
The bus, eastbound, hit a van, also heading eastbound, which then pulled to the center lane. The bus then struck a four-door sedan, which rear ended a Toyota Tacoma, before it came to a stop.
Painters Greg Baxter and Rick Bartlett who were in the van that was struck, sprang into action to get the students out of the bus, and help move the bus driver out of the vehicle so CPR could be administered.
“I stopped and got in the bus and determined the guy had cardiac arrest,” said Silverdale Group Health nurse Pam Nelson Kimball. She was assisted in her lifesaving efforts by Bainbridge Island veterinarian Mark Swaney, who also stopped after the accident occurred. “Some big guy was helping kids out of the bus. I tried to do CPR, but it was difficult because he was sitting up in the drivers seat. Several people helped us carry him out to the sidewalk where we continued CPR… It was all of us doing it together.”
Medical crews from PFD continued life saving efforts while the driver was taken to the hospital, Brooks said.
“The kids did not see any of the work done on the driver,” Case said. “Our concern right now is the driver. The kids are OK, and we have counselors at the schools in case they need to talk to anyone.”
A second NKSD bus accident was reported at about 7:05 a.m. Sept. 5 on Miller Bay Road, when a school bus crossed the center line and hit an oncoming dump truck, according to Washington State Patrol officials. The driver was not injured, and there were no students on the bus at the time. The driver of the other vehicle, a dump truck, sustained an eye injury from broken glass.
Troopers reported the bus driver was swatting a bee when his vehicle swerved. Minor damage was incurred when the rearview mirrors of both vehicles collided.