By Carol McIntire
A Carrollton Schools bus driver was placed on administrative leave following an accident March 2 in Loudon Twp. that injured five students.
Carrollton Schools Superintendent Dr. David Quattrochi said the driver, Ronald Hepner of Carrollton, was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the New Philadelphia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“I will meet with the patrol at the end of the week to discuss the investigation and will take necessary action following that meeting,” said Quattrochi.
A Patrol official said the accident occurred at 6:13 a.m. on Branch Rd. as Hepner was picking up high school students. There were seven students on the bus at the time of the crash.
He said Hepner was driving the bus northbound on Branch Rd. when he lost control of the bus and it went off the right side of the road and struck a tree with the back rear panel.
After the crash occurred, Hepner continued to pick up students along the route, dropped them off at the school and parked the bus at the bus garage without notifying school officials.
Three students were taken to a local statcare facility, one of which was transported to a Canton hospital. Two other students visited the school nurse for their injuries.
The patrol post was notified of the crash after 12:30 p.m. by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, which received a call at 11:54 a.m. from a parent.
The patrol official said the trooper investigating the crash had not spoken with Hepner as of press time this week so the accident remains under investigation.