Many helped after bus mishap

After quite a harrowing experience, I write to express thanks on behalf of the Ashland Independent Schools, my students and myself to many people for their assistance on a cold, early Saturday morning along I-64.

Without the concern and kindness of these people, a minor inconvenience of a bus breakdown would have been a much worse situation for all of us.

First, I thank Shane Campbell, a passerby from Ashland who offered a jacket, blankets and his help shortly after our school bus threw a rod and began filling with smoke. Our bus driver, Jaye Artrip, had evacuated the students and moved them a safe distance down the road. Mr. Campbell risked his personal safety as he worked diligently to find a way to shut down the engine which, by this time, had completely shrouded visibility on the interstate with thick smoke for about a quarter of a mile.

In the meantime, I was concerned with getting my students off the road, out of the cold and to our destination, the Honors Orchestra Festival at Morehead State University. I called the Russell Schools’ String Orchestra Director, Beth Ann Smith; hoping that they were making the trip as well, and had not yet passed the area. Luckily, they were, they hadn’t and she said that they would stop and lend assistance.  Within 10 minutes the busses were there and Beth and the Russell students welcomed my students aboard.

Finally, I thank the firefighters from the Grahn Volunteer Fire Department who arrived shortly afterward to secure the scene and stayed until a replacement bus arrived from the Ashland garage.

Because of all of these people, the start of the day was more of a novelty and less a catastrophe for my students and became the musically rewarding experience it was designed to be!

Daniel S. Boyer, Director of String Orchestras, Ashland Independent Schools

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