Special arrival for bus crash pupils

Special arrival for bus crash pupils

Children from a special needs school in Downpatrick, who were involved in a terrifying bus crash earlier this week, were smiling once again on Thursday when the Special Olympics torch paid them a visit.

A bus carrying Knockevin Special School pupils overturned on Tuesday morning after being involved in a collision with a van on Vianstown Road.

Thirteen pupils were on board the South Eastern Education and Library Board bus, along with two adults, when the crash happened.

They were all taken to Ulster Hospital in Dundonald and Downe Hospital in Downpatrick for medical attention, and later discharged.

Principal Ann Cooper told UTV: "Thankfully all the pupils were safe and unhurt with minor scratches and bumps and bruises.

"Some of the pupils have returned to school and some of them haven't and they are badly shook up and bruised and probably will get sore over the weekend.

"It was a nightmare - a nightmare for the pupils involved and their families, and for the school staff and the whole community within the school - for the governors as well."

And just a mere 48 hours later, there are smiles from the pupils after getting the chance to carry the Special Olympics torch, and become police officer for the day.

The treat from the PSNI was set up prior to the shock crash - the gesture being sparked by a burglary at the school last year.

Around £30,000 of damage was caused to the school, its medical facilities and buses in September. The vehicles, in fact, were left unfit for use by the school.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr is Northern Ireland's liaison officer for the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run.

He said Thursday's event was "tremendously important" given the unfortunate events experienced by the special care school over the last six months.

He added that the PSNI wanted to show "positive support" to the school in an attempt to provide some respite from recent negative events.

The school's head continued: "It was a lovely opportunity for our pupils to enjoy seeing all the police vehicles here."

The pupils were "very excited" about the torch coming, she added.


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