Injuries were reported after a five-vehicle accident Thursday morning in Kingfield that involved a school bus carrying eight elementary school-age children, police said.

No children on the bus were injured, and they were taken later by a second bus to Kingfield Elementary School.

The crashes were reported about 7:40 a.m. on Route 142, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded along with first responders, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. It had started to rain hard in the area about 20 minutes earlier, creating icy conditions on the previously dry roads, police said.

A gray 2007 Toyota Avalon driven by Judi Hawkes, 55, of Cumberland, was traveling west on Route 142, while a yellow International school bus driven by Debra Johnson, 62, of Kingfield, was traveling east. As the vehicles approached each other, Hawkes lost control on the ice and skidded into the right-side snowbank, propelling the car across the road into the front of the school bus.

A 2006 Dodge Durango driven by Erica Bracy, 39, of Freeman Township, had been following the school bus east and stopped without hitting the bus. But a fourth vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Brian Leblanc, 32, of Salem, also was traveling east. Leblanc did not see the crash as he rounded a corner, and he couldn’t stop in time because of the slick road.

The Tahoe struck the rear of the Durango, propelling the Durango and the Tahoe into the rear of the school bus. A 2015 Jeep Cherokee being driven by Donna Chase, 63, of Kingfield, also was traveling east behind the Leblanc vehicle and came upon the pile of cars all over the road, police said. Chase avoided the wreckage by driving her vehicle onto the left side of the road, where her vehicle collided with the snowbank and teetered in the air, police said.

Hawkes suffered visible injuries and had to be extricated from her vehicle, while Bracy also was injured but was able to walk to an ambulance, police said. Both were taken to local hospitals.

Meanwhile, about 7:50 a.m. the sheriff’s office received a report of a second crash that occurred less than 500 yards west of the school bus accident in Kingfield. In that case, police found a 2001 Ford Focus upside down on top of a snowbank. The driver, Hanna Snider, 20, of Sorrento, had been traveling east and came upon several vehicles that had stopped because of the school bus accident, and she lost control and rolled over. No injuries were reported in that case.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: