School Bus Crash in Mo. Leaves Two Dead

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) -- A school bus carrying several dozen grade school children collided with two other vehicles Monday morning, leaving two people dead and at least 30 children injured.

Officials would not immediately say if those killed were on the bus or in the car and SUV involved in the crash, but both other vehicles were nearly demolished.

The bus was on its way to Ridgeview Elementary School in the Liberty School District when the crash happened about 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of highways 291 and 152 in Clay County. The children on the bus are in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It was not immediately clear how badly hurt the children were, but several were taken by ambulances to hospitals. Others were treated at the scene. Two air ambulances were also brought in.

Liberty Police Lt. Mark Misenhelter said the cars were heading east and had apparently stopped at a stop light. The southbound bus suddenly veered right as it approached the intersection, slamming into both cars, he said.

Misenhelter said it wasn't clear why the bus veered into the vehicles.

A view from a television helicopter showed the damaged bus in a grassy area near the intersection of highways 291 and 152, near a fast-food restaurant.

Frantic parents showed up at the scene despite pleas from the district that parents stay away. Large sheets were placed over the two other vehicles, perhaps to shield children from the trauma of the scene.

Six of the injured were taken to Liberty Hospital. A spokeswoman would not disclose their conditions but said one was being sent to Children's Mercy Hospital.