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Driverless, burning school bus crashes into Mo. house

New Kinlock firefighters faced what they called “a daunting sight” upon arrival

By Mike Stunson
The Charlotte Observer

NORMANDY, Mo. — As a school bus engulfed in flames came rolling toward them, residents in a Missouri neighborhood had little time to react.

And neither did the driver, who managed to escape the burning bus just before it plowed into a home in Normandy on Monday, April 8, according to news reports.

It was so crazy. It’s the type of stuff you see like on TV,” Ayanna Whittier, who lives in the St. Louis -area neighborhood, told KSDK.

Laura Williams, who was playing outside with her 8-year-old daughter, said neighbors were screaming to the bus driver that it was on fire, according to KTVI. It’s unclear what caused the fire.

“(The bus) started smoking out the windows. So (the bus driver) was able to jump off the bus and next thing you know, the bus started rolling back towards down this way,” Williams said, telling KTVI her “house shook” as the bus came crashing into a car and the home.

First responders encountered a “daunting sight” at their arrival, according to the New Kinlock Fire Protection District. The bus was engulfed in flames, which officials said posed a risk for neighboring properties.

Numerous fire departments extinguished the bus fire, while also preventing its spread.

The living room of the home was destroyed, as well as three bedrooms, KSDK reported.

The Berkeley Fire Department confirmed no one was on the bus when it crashed into the home. One person was treated at the scene before being taken to a hospital “for continued medical care and treatment.”

The bus was from Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis , KTVI reported.

Whittier, who lives in the affected home, is grateful there wasn’t a worse outcome.

“It just felt like someone took my legs from me, because all I could do was hit the ground because I could have lost my family,” she told KTVI. “We lost pretty much everything, but I could have lost my family. I’m just glad that everybody got out.”

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