HEGINS, Pa. -- A deer crashed through a school bus window, injuring two Pennsylvania middle school students Tuesday morning, April 4th.
“It was a boom. Glass flew all over. The deer was inside the bus, running all about in the aisle,” Tri-Valley School District bus driver Curtis Zemencik told WNEP.
After 25 years driving school buses in the area, Zemencik said he has never seen anything like it.
“I often thought of them running in front of me, slamming on the brakes, but never ... ending up inside with us,” Zemencik said.
He said he was picking up Schuylkill County students in the morning, when several deer blocked the road in front of him, so he stopped the bus. Suddenly, one deer jumped over the hood. Another came right into the bus through a side window.
Zemencik said the deer leaped through a passenger window and hit a student in the lip. Then it went down the aisle and struck another student in the thigh. After that, the deer realized it had nowhere to go, Zemencik said. Thinking quickly, he opened the front door and the unruly, four-legged passenger bounded away.
The bus driver then rushed to help the injured students.
“We needed to clean up the blood," Zemencik said. "I had him rinse his mouth out, checked his cut to make sure how big the cut was, and make sure he was OK and the others were OK.”
The Tri-Valley students were treated by the school nurse afterward, while the bus company tended to the blown-out window.
“It wasn't a quick fix," said Dan Bowman, of Bowman Brothers Busing Company. "That glass was throughout the whole bus. It took my cousin five hours to clean it up.”
Then, on Wednesday morning, Zemencik said another herd of deer showed up on the same road on the route to school.
“I went very, very slow, very cautiously. You could hear the kids take deep breaths and think, 'Oh, my gosh, here we go again,’” Zemencik said. Luckily, the deer opted to go around, rather than through the bus.
Zemencik said the student who was kicked in the thigh was back on the bus Wednesday morning, but the other student who had a cut to the lip stayed home.
Tri-Valley School District officials declined to comment on the incident.