ADAMS, Mass. — No major injuries were reported after emergency services responded to an accident involving a school bus and a tractor-trailer truck on Route 116 on Wednesday morning
"Essentially it was what it was but it could have been a lot worse," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "It had the potential to be much worse than it was."
Tarsa said a little after 7 a.m. a tractor-trailer truck, traveling north on Orchard Street toward Adams, lost control of the trailer section of the vehicle.
He said because of icy road conditions, the trailer jackknifed across the road. The trailer was empty so it had less traction than it would have had if it was full. The left rear of the trailer hit the left front fender of a school bus that was heading to Hoosac Valley High School.
"The lack of weight in the back of it made it very light and when on the icy road, it caused it to kick out sideways," Tarsa said. "As it did, the bus driver saw it and tried to make an evasive move by pulling and extreme right going up onto the sidewalk."
Emergency services, Hoosac Valley administration, a school adjustment counselor, representatives from Dufour Bus and members of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Safety Team, were on the scene soon after the accident.
Tarsa said the bus was carrying 31 people, including the driver. One person complaining of pain was transported to the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center.
All students were checked for injuries and were transported to school on a second bus, according to interim Superintendent Robert Putnam. All parents were informed by the school and some students went home and school emergency personnel were available for students throughout the day.
He added that there was also a robocall informing all Hoosac Valley parents.
Tarsa said the bus had to be towed away but the tractor trailer truck was operable.
Emergency personnel was also on staff at C.T. Plunkett Elementary to deal with possible shock. Some Plunkett students waiting for the bus Wednesday morning near the accident saw the damage.
Tarsa said the safety team was created to deal these kinds of incidents and is comprised of members from the Adams and Cheshire police and fire departments, Adams Ambulance Service, state troopers, Dufour Bus, and school administration who meet regularly to anticipate and train for emergency situations and to conduct student drills.
"It went very well and everything went to plan," he said. "We train for this through event training, crisis management, and school drills. Everything went accordingly and fell into place."
He said after the safety team met to review their response to see what lessons could be learned for future responses.
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