Two adults were injured, but a four-year-old child was not, after a school bus failed to stop at an intersection and slid down a Cattaraugus County embankment early Tuesday morning.
Cattauraugus County Sheriff Lt. Brandon Walters was among the rescue team. He said the bus, contracted by the Randolph Central School District from Corvus Bus and Charter Co. to transport the student, was at the intersection of Bone Run Road and West Perimeter Road in the town of South Valley when the incident occurred.
"It ran the stop sign at the intersection coming off Bone Run Road and slid right across West Perimeter Road, through the guard rail and rolled several times down a very steep hill and came to a rest on its side, right on the water's edge," Walters said.
Walters said the bus rolled down about 50 yards before coming to a stop at the edge of the Allegheny Reservoir.
"It was pretty amazing," Walters continued. "There was an old tree that fell down and that's the only thing that kept this bus from rolling into the frozen water. This bus came to rest on its side onto that tree and it's the belief that if that tree wasn't there, the bus would have continued out into the frozen water."
Walters said 911 calls came into the Sheriff's Department reporting the crash and deputies were first on the scene. He said they administered first aid until the Frewsburg Fire Department arrived.
He said the four-year-old student was safety secured in a child's car seat, checked at the scene and released uninjured into the custody of his mother.
"The driver was seat-belted in the front seat. He sustained neck and shoulder and face injuries," Walters said. "The bus monitor that was onboard, she was not wearing a seat belt and she sustained some pretty good neck and back injuries. Both the driver and bus monitor were transported to WCA Hospital to be looked at."
Walters said the bus monitor was not able to move until deputies and fire personnel "backboarded her with a rope" to bring her up the steep hill, as she had been "tossed around" from not being restrained by a seat belt. He said her injuries appeared serious, but not life threatening.
He said the driver was cited for not stopping at the intersection, which he said is well marked and weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash. The investigation is continuing.