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6 kids injured in North Pole school bus accident

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Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 11:33 pm | Updated: 1:30 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Six students were sent to the hospital after a school bus accident Tuesday in North Pole, according to school district officials.

After seeing critical comments about the News-Miner’s article online, the district’s public relations director Bill Bailey said there were some miscommunications that led to incorrect media reports that the accident caused few or no injuries.

When emergency responders arrived at the accident, eight students from the North Pole middle and high schools were looked after until parents arrived. Bailey said emergency responders made phone calls to the parents of the students. No students were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

When parents arrived, several decided to transport their children to the hospital themselves after looking at the injuries. Six were taken to the Fairbanks Memorial or Bassett Army Community hospitals. Injuries included a fractured elbow, an eye injury, sore sides from hitting the bus and a complaint of head soreness, Bailey said.

Administrators from the First Student bus company and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District arrived at the scene to help with the process. Bailey said a First Student employee handed a letter to some parents asserting the accident had caused no injuries. Bailey said the letter was mistaken and might have added to the confusion.

North Pole Middle School Principal Richard Smith and North Pole High School Assistant Principal Ronald Gherman went to the hospitals to make sure the students were in good condition after the accident, Bailey said.

Bailey said most students and families had follow-up phone calls from the district, but some were not called because officials believed they had talked sufficiently with those people at the scene.

The First Student bus driver will not drive students as an investigation into the incident continues, Bailey said.

Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.

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