UPDATE: Broken Arm, Leg Among Injuries in Pe Ell School Bus Crash


Four students and a bus driver were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries Wednesday after a Pe Ell school bus carrying 30 students left the roadway near Katula Road on westbound state Route 6 and crashed.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m.

The students were all in grades between kindergarten and middle school, Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn confirmed on Thursday.

One student suffered a broken arm, one suffered a broken leg and a couple students had minor head injuries.

The bus driver was transported via ambulance to a local hospital but did not suffer serious injuries, according to the State Patrol.

The bus collided with a guard rail before veering off the right side of the roadway into a ditch, then traveling roughly 25 feet and crashing into a tree, according to state patrol.

The driver reportedly told troopers on the scene that he had been looking in his rearview mirror at his passengers when the bus hit the guard rail.

The official cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The Pe Ell School District responded to the incident alongside local emergency response and state troopers.

“Our emergency management response team is implementing our emergency protocol. We are notifying the families of students involved in the accident. We will keep families and the community informed of any new developments,” district staff wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

Pe Ell School Principal Brandon Pontius said Thursday afternoon everyone who sustained injuries was OK and there was still one child in the hospital.

While bus crashes are typically “chaotic” due to the number of passengers, Finn said that the school district’s coordination was key in quickly identifying the kids on the bus and connecting them with their families. And a quick response from local fire districts and law enforcement agencies was a huge help when it came to clearing the scene, identifying which kids were injured, organizing medical treatment and cleaning up the crash.

“It was a huge team effort,” Finn said. “It was as successful as it can be.”

Finn and the Pe Ell School District posted about the crash on social media around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. At approximately 8:40 p.m., Finn posted an update on Twitter stating that all students had been reunited with their families.

The school district is expected to post additional updates as the investigation continues.