Bus driver Karriey Mickle and School Board Member Heather Gill applauded
By Andrew Harris, pictured are Mickle, School Board President Al Mosher, and Superintendent David Foster
On the morning of November 27, one of the worst school bus accidents in recent memory occurred on Route 19 south of Wellsville. As panic and fear for the worst swept through the community, two strong women on the scene took charge. The driver of the bus, Karriey Mickle and bystander Heather Gill(who happens to be a WCS school board member,) immediately went into action.
Mickle, the Wellsville school bus driver, was traveling on St. Route 19 with a bus full of kids when a vehicle slammed into the bus head on. By all accounts, Karriey launched into emergency response mode and began assessing and comforting the children. Gill, pulled over and ran to the scene to help in any way possible. Wellsville Central School Superintendent David Foster released this statement on the actions of Mickle and Gill:
“During last evening’s School Board Meeting in Wellsville, bus driver Karriey Mickle and School Board Member Heather Gill were honored with a Certificate of Recognition for their commendable actions during a school bus accident on Route 19. On November 27th, following the collision, Karriey quickly assessed the students’ condition and called emergency services, staying with them until they were safely transported to Jones Memorial Hospital. Heather, behind the bus in her car, provided comfort and assistance to the other driver involved in the accident.
Wellsville School expressed pride in the actions of Karriey, Heather, and the students during the incident. The school also thanked various first responders, including WVAC, MTS, fire departments from Genesee Independence and Andover, Jones Memorial Hospital staff, and officials from Allegany County and the NYS Police for their response and support.”
We talked with Karriey and Heather about the accident and their actions.
A Sun reader contacted us last week and reported that after being hit head on with a bus full of kids, Karriey Mickle took total charge of the situation. She comforted, assessed, and stayed with the kids the entire time. Her performance under that kind of pressure and stress was amazing and should be recognized.
We asked Karriey to react to that and she humbly replied:
“Thank you for recognizing me. I was simply following through with the ongoing training that we as bus drivers participate in.”
Heather Gill, who did the very difficult job of comforting the seriously injured driver of the vehicle that hit the bus, explained her role:
“I’ve never experienced a situation like this one, I didn’t know what to do in that moment I just knew that people needed help, and that the driver who was a young man shouldn’t be left alone while we waited for help. I am beyond grateful for Karriey Mickle, and I truly believe her actions leading up to the accident prevented even more injuries. Knowing we have people like Karriey taking care of our kids on the road is a huge comfort, they were her first and most important priority that morning.”
The accident resulted in serious injuries for the driver and several students experienced whiplash, but no students were seriously injured. Read our original reporting from November 27: