Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick to Thank Erie Township Community For Assisting Detroit Schoolchildren Following School Bus Crash

Oct 25, 2002, 01:00 ET from City of Detroit

    DETROIT, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick will visit Erie
 Township Tuesday, Oct. 29, to thank members of the surrounding community for
 assistance they provided to a busload of Detroit elementary school students
 when the students' school bus was involved in a crash Oct. 10.
     The Mayor will meet with members of the community at a special reception
 to be held at the Erie Volunteer Fire Department Hall in Erie Township, 2084
 Manhattan, at 5:00 p.m. October 29, 2002.
     "It is clear that the people in the area where this crash occurred dropped
 everything to help our children," the Mayor said.  "As a parent of two first-
 graders myself, my heart was deeply touched by the way the people of the
 surrounding community came to aid these Detroit children during a very
 frightening moment.
     "They saw a busload of small children in terrifying circumstances and they
 responded instantly.  They didn't ask where the children were from.  They just
 wanted to help.  On behalf of all Detroiters, I want to extend our heartfelt
 thanks and gratitude for what they did for our children at a very traumatic
     The bus, carrying 43 children and 17 adults from Pierre Toussaint Academy
 in Detroit, was hit by a steel-hauling truck on Oct. 10 en route to a nearby
 orchard and cider mill.
     Neighbors and passersby immediately rushed to assist the children.  Some
 neighbors ran to the scene with ice and towels to initially treat injuries and
 with blankets to wrap around the children while waiting for emergency
 personnel to arrive.
     At the same time, there was a rapid emergency services response with every
 public and private ambulance in Monroe County reporting to the scene along
 with several from Toledo.  Rescue workers were grabbing any qualified person
 to drive ambulances so paramedics could be in back with the patients.  Injured
 children were transported to three different hospitals, Mercy Memorial, St.
 Vincent and St. Ann, by ambulance or air ambulance.
     Marlene Mills, Superintendent of Mason Consolidated Schools, sent school
 buses to take uninjured children from the scene and dispatched all of the
 district's guidance counselors to the scene to talk to the children and
 provide them with books and coloring books.
     Jane Honaker, manager of the 6070 Bar and Grill, located near the crash
 scene, heard the crash and immediately opened the doors for children who were
 not injured in the crash to come in and get away from the scene.  Though her
 establishment normally doesn't open until 3 p.m., she provided the children
 with popcorn, chips, French Fries and juice to help keep them comfortable.  A
 local McDonald's Restaurant donated Happy Meals to the children in the
 hospital, while Erie Orchards & Cider Mills -- their original destination --
 brought in goodie bags for the kids along with pumpkins, cider and doughnuts.
     Erie Township Fire Department handled the scene and was assisted by Morin
 Point Fire Department (Erie TWP), Luna Pier Fire Department, Bedford Township
 Fire Department, LaSalle Township Fire Department, and Monroe Township Fire
     Other emergency agencies that assisted at the accident include Monroe
 County Central Dispatch, Monroe Co. Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police
 (Monroe Post #28), Michigan State Police - Motorcarrier Division, and Erie
 Township Police Department.  Also assisting were Luna Pier Police Department,
 AMR (Ambulance), St Vincent Life Flight, U of M - Survival Flight, Life Star
 (Ambulance), Star Towing, 6070 Bar & Grill, Erie Township Government, Erie
 Fire Department Honorary Members, American Red Cross - Monroe County Chapter,
 and Salvation Army - Monroe.
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SOURCE City of Detroit