No students were injured on Wednesday morning when a Grove School Bus was involved in a minor collision with a juvenile driver.
According to the report issued on Thursday, Jan. 5, by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Brett Watson, the Grove school bus driven by Patricia Austin, 53, Jay, was traveling southbound on a county road three miles east of Grove, when it met a 2002 Chevrolet pickup driven by a 16-year-old female driver.
Watson said the driver of the pickup, who was traveling southbound, met the bus on a curve and "went left of center and sideswiped" the bus.
The incident took place at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 4. Watson's report said 34 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school were on the bus at the time of the incident. No one was injured. The juvenile driver, whose name was not released by the highway patrol, was not injured.
Grove Public School officials reported the incident to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on Thursday morning.
Grove Police Chief Mark Morris said he learned of the incident after school officials contacted Grove Police Officer John Sherman, who serves as one of the two GPS resource officers.
According to Morris, both vehicles left the scene of the incident, which caused minor damage to the vehicles. Morris described the damage as "paint transfer."
"Sherman told me the damage was extremely minimal to both vehicles," Morris said.
Morris said Sherman advised Lynn Sears, GPS transportation director, to contact the highway patrol to make a report.
Grove Superintendent Sandy Coaly said Sears learned of the incident after the bus driver returned to the bus barn on Wednesday. Coaly, who was off campus at the time of the incident, was notified later in the day on Wednesday.
The driver, she said, did not stop the bus and call authorities from the scene of the incident because "no one was hurt" and that the student driver kept driving.
"The [driver] went on, nobody was hurt and the bus wasn't damaged," Coaly said. "The driver went on with the route to get the kids where they needed to be."
Coaly said the student's mother came to the barn at approximately 5 p.m., on Wednesday to discuss the situation with school officials. It was after this that Sears contacted Sherman to determine the next step.
Coaly said Department of Transportation requirements, which require a school bus driver to have a blood draw following an incident were not followed, because too much time had passed between the collision and when it was reported.
"There were no injuries and the other driver didn't stop," Coaly said. "[Austin] knew the bus was fine, so she went on with her route."
Coaly indicated "personnel issues are being dealt with" concerning the incident, and that the bus, Bus No. 2, has been checked by a mechanic.
Coaly declined to identify the 16-year-old driver citing confidentiality issues. She said because the incident involves personnel issues, she would not comment further concerning the driver. She did say Austin remains a member of the GPS staff as of Friday afternoon.