'It’s the grace of God,' says principal whose kids survived bus crash

2016-07-27 06:56
Gansbaai Academia secondary school principal Tommy Wilson says it is the grace of God that his pupils escaped a collision between school bus and vehicle without injury. (credit Carol Booysen Valentine)

Gansbaai Academia secondary school principal Tommy Wilson says it is the grace of God that his pupils escaped a collision between school bus and vehicle without injury. (credit Carol Booysen Valentine)

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Cape Town – A Southern Cape high school principal believes the “grace of God” ensured his pupils survived a collision between a school bus and a car on Monday afternoon.

The bus driver’s skill also played a part, be said.

Gansbaai Academia secondary school principal Tommy Wilson told News24 on Tuesday that he rushed to the accident scene after people ran into his school to share the bad news.

The bus, carrying around 50 teenagers, apparently collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla between Gansbaai and Stanford.

“We saw the bus on top of the vehicle. The front of the bus was damaged. The first thing was to check our kids.”

He said his pupils miraculously escaped with minor injuries. Three teens sustained minor fractures and were treated in hospital. They were now back home, Wilson said.

“The bus driver did a very good job. If he lost control, it would have been a massive tragedy.

“Luckily through the grace of God, my kids are safe. There were trees on the side of the road that also prevented the accident. It could have been worse.”

Provincial traffic spokesperson Jacques Mostert said the crash killed the car’s driver and passenger.

Mostert said at the time that the bus had been empty.

But on Tuesday, both Wilson and the department said pupils were in the bus.

The principal reported the accident to the Overberg education district office, said Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for provincial education MEC Debbie Schafer.

Learner safety

Shelver said the department provided transport to those in rural areas who lived more than 5km from their nearest school, and where public transport and hostel accommodation was not available.

“The department applies strict conditions to bus contracts to ensure learner safety, and measures to monitor compliance.”

Wilson said the pupils had not wanted to get on another bus to get to their homes in Stanford, following the crash. He thanked police for their help.

Counsellors from the district office visited the school on Tuesday morning to provide trauma debriefing.

While some pupils stayed at home, around 34 pupils attended the counselling, said Wilson.

“They had a talk with them. The kids seem alright now,” he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents

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