Anatomy of a bus accident

By Amanda Meade & Colleen Miller

Scene/Mix Editor & Copy Editor

What are the odds of being in a bus while it rails into an SUV? We have no idea, but we are sure it’s so slim that we should feel very, very special.

Actually, in 2006 there were 12,362 buses involved in crashes according to the U.S.

Department of Transportation. They are still counting the buses for 2007. We guess that the odds of us being in a bus crash, on our round trip bus ride to the shopping center, were much higher than dying in the round trip plane ride to Kansas City for the National College Media Convention, almost two weeks ago.

The moments before

At least we were sitting down on the way back or our managing editor would have realized one of his worst fears for the trip: his employees splattered on Main Street. We were standing right in front of the windshield on the way to our shopping extravaganza that included stops at a crayon store, a toy store and a store that only sold glittery stuff for 11-year-olds.

Thankfully, between the two of us we bought two Wizard of Oz shot glasses, cheap sun glasses and a hideous orange necklace on clearance — otherwise the whole experience would have been completely fruitless.

We were in the front row behind the driver talking about how weird it would be if we got in

a bus accident. With a perfect view out the windshield, you could see a vehicle accelerating through the upcoming intersection. Yes, the same intersection we were about to truck through at about 35 mph.

The impact

We did the “Woah” yell several seconds before the bus driver hit the brakes, and braced ourselves and watched as the bus t-boned the other vehicle and listened to the windshield pop and shatter.

Even though everybody was sitting, one woman was too distracted by her

phone conversation and went flying down the aisle. Too bad her ass wasn’t as stuck to her seat as her phone was to her hand, because she hung onto that celly the entire time.

Waiting to see whether our bus driver was actually still alive, we were surprised to realize no one seemed critically injured. The driver of the SUV stepped out of the vehicle, along with a small child and a woman, which we could only guess was his family. Glad to know that the

lives of loved ones and a bus full of random strangers weren’t worth the two-minute stop at a red light.

The wait

Instantly, the bus driver notified us that we were all going to have to stay on the bus until a police officer came and took all of our names and information. Yes, because all we wanted to do was remain on the transportation that had just smacked into another vehicle. Who knows what types of explosives were spewing out around us while the engine kept running.

After three different officials made their way around the bus, each asking our names, ages and addresses, we still weren’t free to go.

More waiting

The smell of ammonia from the man’s pants across the aisle was starting to get to us, and text messages from our fellow staff members wanting to know when we were going to dinner bombarded our phones. Sorry you guys were hungry, but have a little compassion, we just escaped our deaths.

Paramedics had to beg a few passengers to be taken to the hospital, even though they weren’t critically injured. The semi-hurt people were reluctant. We actually considered lying about an injury to go to the hospital just to get the hell off the bus.

The walk

Finally, after about a half an hour, we were released from our close call. The driver offered the passengers another bus to board, but we preferred to hoof it. For some reason, our insisting to walk offended the bus driver, and the men sitting behind us joked and asked “what are the chances” this would happen again. Funny, we were just asking ourselves what were the chances of being in the first bus accident.