LEWIS COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) -
Lewis County C-1 Superintendent Jacqueline Ebeling says Wednesday is a day that "the kids need to be together" following Tuesday's school bus rollover near Ewing, Missouri.
Ebeling said the district held classes Wednesday in order to keep things moving as normal as possible after over two dozen students and a bus driver were injured Tuesday. Ebeling says she was following the bus on the highway, witnessed the crash and began helping at the scene.
Ebeling says 30 students were on board when a bus rolled over near the intersection of Highway C and Juniper Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Six of those kids remain hospitalized as of Wednesday afternoon. Five kids, all listed in 'good condition' are at Blessing Hospital in Quincy and one is in 'satisfactory condition' at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Brenda Mallett's 10-year-old son, Drew, was on board Bus #18. Mallett says Drew suffered minor injuries, like a knot on his head and scratches on his back. Mallett says her son has been very sensitive about talking about the crash, but did give her a glimpse of what happened.
"He said he was riding on the bus and felt the bus swerve a little bit and then they went off the road and overturned and flipped over a couple times," said Mallett. "Then he said he closed his eyes and when he opened his eyes he said he was laying on the roof of the bus and he saw that one of the windows was broke so that he was able to crawl out one of the windows and get off the bus."
The first responders to Tuesday's school bus crash gathered with WGEM's Jenny Dreasler at the Lewis County Ambulance facility Wednesday.
Lewis County EMT P.J. Calnan was one of the first to arrive on what he called a very emotional scene.
"You just have to separate yourself from it and keep doing your job," Calnan said.
EMT Aaron Stutheit was right behind Calnan, and tended to one of the most seriously injured of the children.
"Our ambulance was the second one to arrive, we went straight to a little girl that was stuck under the bus and stayed with her. She was very tough, very strong girl, she never cried. Very brave," Stutheit said.
Stutheit did all he could to keep the girl awake and alert.
"We just talked about everything, pets, eating, she was talking about ice cream, you know everything," Stutheit said.
As EMT's and paramedics worked quickly amongst the chaos on the ground, helicopter Survival Flight paramedic Mike Canon was called in to get the children to the hospital as soon as possible.
"You have to depend on the ground crew, and their good assessment because when you show up on a helicopter, you don't want to have to re-do everything, you just want to continue the care," Canon said.
With the trauma of the scene fresh in their minds, Canton paramedic Dianna Shelley says the group is glad they were there for the students Tuesday.
Now, they'll have to be there for each other.
"It's children, it's hard. We go back and we talk about it. If you have a bad day, you call somebody, you sit and talk," Shelley said.