Principal thanks 'heroic response' from bus driver after special needs pupils involved in crash

A school principal has praised the "quick-thinking, heroic response of the bus driver and escort whose first priority was the safety and well-being of the young people in their care" after yesterday's accident.

Four children from Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon were on board the school bus when it flipped onto its roof after colliding with a car.

Ambulances were called to the scene

Ambulances were called to the scene

The minibus was travelling along the Knockmany Road before the accident at the junction with the Ballymagowan Road between Augher and Clogher in Co Tyrone.

According to their school website ‘Sperrinview School currently caters for 116 pupils with severe learning difficulties, from pre-school to 19 years.

In a statement Sperrinview School principal Paul Jordan said: "Four pupils from Sperrinview were on the school bus involved in yesterday’s accident near Augher.

"Although this was a traumatic experience for those involved, having viewed images of the aftermath there is great relief that none of the young people and staff affected suffered life-threatening injuries.

“We can all be thankful for the quick-thinking, heroic response of the bus driver and escort whose first priority was the safety and well-being of the young people in their care, and comforting them in the face of such distressing circumstances."

He said that on behalf of Sperrinview he wanted to "extend best wishes to all those directly involved, including the driver of the other car".

"I would like to thank the resident of the adjacent property and others who attended the scene in the immediate aftermath for the care shown to the young people and staff," he said.

“Sperrinview is also grateful to the emergency services, notably the PSNI, Fire and Rescue Service, and Air Ambulance; to the South West Acute Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital; to the Education Authority’s transport and special education services, and for the many messages of goodwill and solidarity from fellow principals.

“Specialist staff from the EA Critical Incident Response Team have been in school to support pupils and staff where required and the entire school community has rallied together as they always do.”