Mehlville VICC pupils sent to hospital for observation after bus accident in city

By Alyson E. Raletz

A bus carrying nearly 30 Mehlville School District voluntary transfer pupils never made it to school last Friday.

An Atlantic Express bus, contracted by the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corp. to transport city children to Margaret Buerkle Middle School, collided with a Metro bus at 7:30 a.m. at the corner of Chestnut and Broadway in downtown St. Louis — in front of the Old Courthouse.

The buses also struck a pedestrian who was walking a dog. The pedestrian survived, but the accident killed the dog.

All of the pupils were sent to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and Barnes Jewish Hospital for observation, but were released the same day with little more than cuts and bruises, according to Brian Forbes, Atlantic Express safety director.

VICC uses about 250 Atlantic Express buses daily to transport transfer pupils from the city to suburban schools, Forbes said.

“We’ve had other minor accidents this year, but this was more serious than anything we’ve had,” the safety director told the Call.

The Atlantic Express bus was going south-bound on Broadway and was making a left turn onto Chestnut when the Metro bus struck the the Atlantic Express vehicle on its right-front wheel.

“The cause of the accident still is under investigation,” he said.

Both bus drivers were injured. The Atlantic Express bus driver experienced minor injuries and was sent to St. Louis University Hospital, according to Forbes, and was released Saturday.

Both buses experienced extensive front-end damage, he said, but no estimates have been released by insurance investigators.

Contacted for comment, both Mehlville School District Superintendent Tim Ricker and Transportation Director Keith Henry declined telephone interviews.