CLARK COUNTY — He happened to be in the right place at a horrific time, when more than 50 children were heading to their first day of school.
A child is dead and at least 20 others are injured after their school bus crashed on State Route 41 in German Township Tuesday morning.
The bus flipped while trying to avoid a minivan that drove into the bus’ lane, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
Arthur Cornell was behind the minivan when the bus flipped.
“I seen it coming sideways towards me and then the back of it flipped around towards me. And then I seen it hit the ditch and go on its top,” Cornell said.
He immediately pulled over and began doing his best to help.
“They opened the back door and they were coming out the back door hatch,” he said.
“I was just making them go out the way and everything … trying to do what I can for them,” he added.
Cornell could not believe more than 50 children were on the bus all heading to their first day of school.
“One little girl, she said she lost her shoe. First day of school she didn’t want to lose her shoe I felt so bad,” he said.
Many of the children were injured.
“It was so sad to see, I mean a lot of them were bloody,” he said.
Many didn’t understand what was happening.
“They asked me what was going on? Because they were all confused,” Cornell said.
Amid the chaos, Cornell did not know one of the children could not be saved.
“That really got me when I heard,” he said. “It’s something you don’t see very often. It just, it’s horrible.
Seeing the children scared, hurt and confused will stick with him forever he said.
While Cornell works to heal from what he witnessed, he worries about how the children are handling the tragedy.
“They was in shock. They was upset. Like they’re saying now they don’t want to ride the bus which can’t blame those little guys, I mean it’s gonna be hard on them,” Cornell said.
Northwestern Local Schools canceled all classes Wednesday as the community and district grieves.
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