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1958 Prestonsburg, Kentucky school bus disaster....



Item # 574493

February 28, 1958

LEOMINSTER DAILY ENTERPRISE, Massachusetts, February 28 , 1958 

* Prestonburg, Kentucky 
* School bus disaster 
* Sandy River 


This 10 page newspaper has a three column headline on the front page: "Over 20 May Be Dead In Accident"

Tells of the school bus disaster involving elementary children near Prestonsburg, Kentucky. A early report as the eventual outcome was not yet known at the time.

Other news of the day. Minor spine wear, otherwise nice.

wikipedia notes: The collision and plunge into a river involving a school bus near Prestonsburg, Kentucky on February 28, 1958, was the most disastrous bus accident in United States history.

On a cold and cloudy morning, after a period of heavy rains and thaw, a Floyd County school bus loaded with 48 elementary and high school students bound for school at Prestonsburg on U.S. Route 23 struck the rear of a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment and into the swollen waters of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, where it was swept downstream and submerged.

22 children escaped the bus in the first few minutes as it became fully submerged in the raging flood stage waters and made it safely out of the river. However, 26 other children and the bus driver drowned. National Guard and other authorities and agencies responded. The bus was finally located by Navy divers, and removed from the river 53 hours later.

As of May 2007, almost 50 years later, the 27 person death toll is tied with the Carrollton bus disaster in 1988 for the highest number of fatalities resulting from a bus accident. Both happened in Kentucky and in each, the victims were all thought to have survived the initial collisions, but were unable to safely evacuate the school-type buses afterwards. After the 1988 accident, Kentucky changed its public school bus equipment requirements and requires a higher number of emergency exits than any other state or Canadian province.

Category: The 20th Century

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