MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 30, 2013

Porum team’s bus struck by van

Motorist badly hurt; two students suffer minor injuries

By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer

— WARNER — Members of Porum High School’s baseball team escaped serious injury Friday when the bus in which they were traveling was struck by a van about a mile south of Warner.

Authorities said the van’s driver suffered serious injuries to his entire body, and he was flown to a Tulsa hospital. Two students were taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Ron Watson, who investigated the collision, said the van’s driver, who was eastbound on U.S. 266, failed to stop at the posted intersection. The school bus was southbound on Oklahoma 2.

Assistant Coach Kenny Hokit, who was driving the bus, said the team was heading home from a game in Weleetka. The bus carried eight players and two coaches, he said.

Hokit said he tried to steer out of the path of the van.

“The coach saw him coming and said, ‘He’s not stopping,’” Hokit said. “I pulled over as far as I could, but he hit us and spun us around three times. I don’t know how we kept from rolling that thing.”

Brent Pearce, the assistant superintendent of Porum Public Schools and the high school principal, said two students were transported to Muskogee, where they were treated for minor injuries. Pearce said parents of the other students were notified and asked to pick up their children.

Warner Fire Chief Bud Little said firefighters arrived shortly after emergency medical workers. He said the van’s driver was trapped inside his van between five and 10 minutes before firefighters could cut him out.

The driver, who remained unidentified, was taken by ambulance to the helipad at Warner, then flown to Tulsa.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.