July 21, 2024

Students injured in Clarke bus accident

Multiple injuries were reported after a Clarke Community Schools bus accident Wednesday, Sept. 7, in rural Clarke County.

The crash occurred 2:55 p.m. on 210th Avenue, just north of Truro Pavement.

According to an Iowa State Patrol report, Darwin Griffith, 72, of Osceola lost control of the school bus. The bus entered the east ditch, struck a bridge railing, overturned and came to a stop on its right side in Squaw Creek.

There were seven students on the bus at the time of the accident.

According to WHO-TV, Griffith was issued a $195 citation by Iowa State Patrol for failure to maintain control of a vehicle.

WHO-TV reports Sergeant Nathan Ludwig with Iowa State Patrol said they do not believe speed was a factor and instead blame poor road conditions due to weather. And, this is the second time in 10 days in which weather and poor road conditions caused a vehicle to leave the roadway in Clarke County.

Superintendent update

According to Clarke Superintendent Steve Seid, it had been raining hard throughout the majority of the day and the bus wasn’t on a paved road.

“It was very slippery and, for whatever the reason, the bus went off the side," he said.

The seven students on the bus ranged in age from elementary to high school.

Seid said the bus driver guided the students out through the bus' back emergency door and got them to a safe area.

Emergency and school officials responded to the scene of the accident.


The majority of the students were taken to Clarke County Hospital to be treated for their injuries. One student was transported to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

Seid said the students didn’t have life-threatening injuries. The driver was also treated and released after the accident.

“We go through these drills with the kids, and the kids kind of think this is bogus. Why do we have to do this? Well, here’s the reason why," he said. "This is why the bus drivers are trained for just these freaky things, because you never know. Fortunately, he followed protocol and did it exactly how it’s supposed to be done.”

While Seid wouldn’t release the school bus number, he did mention it was one the school district's newer buses.

“It’s just a big, yellow machine," he said. "Those things can be replaced. The real concern was for the driver and those seven kids.”