KSP identifies man killed in crash involving Hancock Co. school bus

Authorities: Driver killed, 4 kids airlifted to Louisville following deadly wreck
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:38 PM CDT
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HANCOCK CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Kentucky State Police say troopers responded to a fatal head-on crash involving a school bus and a car on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Trooper Corey King, the wreck happened on KY 1389 near Hawesville.

State troopers say the driver of the car was killed as a result of the crash, but all kids on board the bus are fine. The bus driver was taken to the hospital with back injuries.

“The bus driver and the monitor, I cannot brag on them enough,” Robby Asberry, superintendent of Hancock County Public Schools said. “They looked to take care of our students first.”

KSP identified the driver of the car as 27-year-old Donavon Elmendorf of Lewisport.

Trooper Corey King says there were multiple other people in the car that crashed into the bus.

“There was roughly six passengers in a five-passenger car,” King said. “Obviously, we know that either somebody wasn’t wearing their seatbelt or wasn’t properly wearing their seatbelt.”

KSP says Elmendorf was traveling east on KY 1389 when for unknown reasons, crossed the centerline and hit a Hancock County school bus.

“There are hills and valleys, and curves and twists and turns, all in this area. However, these are local residents here, so they know the roads very well,” King said. “Could the driver be distracted? Could there be speed involved or drugs or alcohol? Very well could, but that takes time with a reconstruction.”

King says crews came quickly to get the students off of the bus safely. They have all been released to their parents.

He says that Wednesday shows why buses are the chosen method of transportation to school.

”School buses are the best and the safest mode of transportation for students,” King said. “It always has been, and the technology has enhanced throughout the years. This is proof right here that you had five students, and all five were okay.”

This investigation is ongoing.

“Every crash involving a loss of a life demands and deserves to have that level of investigation, and that’s what is going to happen right here,” King said.

He added that typically an accident like this will demand around 40 hours of investigation, which includes looking into both vehicles to see whether any mechanical issues caused the crash.

Flowers were planted at the scene of the crash to remember Elmendorf, who was approaching his 28th birthday.

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