Story by Chris Lawrence, MetroNews

GRANTSVILLE, W.Va. — Two of the 19 students hurt in a school bus wreck in Calhoun County Monday evening remain hospitalized.

Authorities said the students were treated for injuries ranged from bumps and bruises to broken bones but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Jeff Brannon (WVRJA)

An investigation into the crash continues. The bus driver, Jeff Brannon, 54, Arnoldsburg, has been charged with three counts of DUI causing injury and three counts of child neglect. He’s being held in the Central Regional Jail with bail set at $250,000.

The bus was the county’s activities bus and was traveling Route 16 from Calhoun County Middle-High School around 6 p.m. Monday. State Police said the vehicle went off the highway and the driver over corrected and flipped the bus as it reentered the road.

Calhoun County School Superintendent Michael Fitzwater said all Calhoun County schools would reopen Wednesday.

“Mr. Brannon will be subject to personnel action. We cannot provide additional information relative to personnel actions but assure the community that all applicable laws will be followed, and we are cooperating with the West Virginia Department of Education to ensure Mr. Brannon never again operate a school bus for Calhoun County or any school system,” Fitzwater said in a statement.

The superintendent added counseling services will be available for students.

“We ask that you continue to keep our Calhoun County community in your thoughts and prayers, especially those who remain in the hospital,” Fitzwater said.

Emergency crews from several counties arrived at the scene within several minutes of the wreck.

Jason Wilson, head of EMS for Calhoun County and the Minnie Hamilton Health System, said when he and his crew rolled up on the scene it was a first responder’s worst nightmare.

All of the children were taken to the hospital. Half of them were taken to Minnie Hamilton Hospital in Grantsville. Others went to Roane General Hospital in Spencer. Two were serious enough to be transported to CAMC General in Charleston by helicopter.

“We did fly the one patient from a landing zone at the high school directly to CAMC via HealthNet, then a second patient was flown from Roane General and that patient went to CAMC as well,” Wilson said.

Those two patients flown to CAMC are the only ones still hospitalized.

According to Wilson, despite the gravity of the situation, everything was under control quickly.

“It was surprisingly calm. Most of the patients, those kids, were very calm and there was not really any chaos. Everybody followed directions and helped get it sorted out,” he explained.

He admitted the scene became a little more chaotic when emotional parents, fearful for their children’s safety, started to show up. However, he said even that was understandable and they dealt with the situation. Despite a very small staff, Wilson said the networking and assistance from neighboring counties was amazing.

“From the time that bus rolled over and the initial call came in, every kid was transported to a medical facility within 47 minutes from the time it happened. In a rural area like this, with the limited resources we have, that’s something I was really proud of,” he said.

Crews from neighboring Roane, Clay, Gilmer, and Wood County all provided some form of assistance.