Four troopers awarded for ‘heroic response’ to I-75 bus crash

MIAMI COUNTY — The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s leader honored four local troopers this morning for rescuing two people from a Piqua City Schools bus that caught fire in December after a crash on Interstate 75.

Patrol Superintendent Col. Richard Fambro presented troopers Sgt. David Robison, James Davis, Charles Gannon and Jason Hutchison with one of the patrol’s most prestigious awards, the Superintendent’s Citation of Merit Award.

The troopers were credited for assisting bus driver Cayley Seitz and aide Harold “JR” Raybern Jr. after the chain of crashes that involved four vehicles, including the Piqua school bus.

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“Their presence and calm demeanor were instrumental in rescuing two individuals from a school vehicle which had caught fire,” the patrol said.

An initial investigation found a semi slowed to avoid an initial crash, which was on the shoulder of the highway. The bus was not able to stop in time and collided into the rear of the semi. A second semi then crashed into the back of the school bus, troopers said.

Cruiser camera footage obtained by this news organization shows multiple troopers run to the smoke-filled bus and pull one of the victims from the crash. The victim appears dazed and is placed on the ground until medics remove the victim to the hospital.

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No students were aboard bus when the crash happened.

The award Monday was the first time since 2013 that a trooper had received the honor, the patrol said.