School bus plunges off Kansas bridge — driver rescued from water

The school bus that went off the road into a creek Thursday near Douglass, Kan. Butler County Sheriff's Office via EPA

The driver of a school bus that ran off a bridge was rescued safely Thursday from a swiftly moving creek near Wichita, Kan., authorities said.

The bus, which was carrying nine children from the Douglass Unified School District, plunged into a creek between Douglass and Aurora in Butler County, west of Wichita, at 4:01 p.m. (5:01 p.m. ET), Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet told NBC News.

None of the children, who crawled out and were rescued from the top of the bus, was injured, he said.

Herzet told NBC station KSN of Wichita that the oldest children, who are 13, helped the younger ones through the hatch. Rescuers used a line to help them to safety, he said.

The driver, described as a man in his 60s, was trapped for more than an hour before a swift-water rescue team managed to pull him to safety. He was being treated for hypothermia at Wesley Medical Center in wichita.

"The bus flipped over, and we [were] in the water," Logan Parker, a 12-year-old sixth-grader who was on the bus, told KSN.

"We climbed out and got on top of the bus," Logan said. "We were up there two hours and a half."

With other children yelling and crying, "I thought I was going to die," he said. "I would never ever see my grandma again, and I was scared."

The cause of the accident was unclear, but heavy rain fell in the area Thursday morning and "the water was running over the road," Herzet said.

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