School bus rams township building, driver dead

Pictured: Bus driver Kelly Smith.

April 18, 2011 2:52:21 PM PDT
Officials say a school bus driver is dead after she crashed into a Pennsylvania municipal building and was ejected from the vehicle.

The accident happened shortly before 8:00 a.m. along Schantz Road in Upper Macungie Township.

The Berks Lehigh Regional Police Department says the driver, 42-year-old Kelly Smith, was found on the ground near the rear of the bus after it crashed into the Upper Macungie Township municipal building.

The bus went right into the office of Sam Ashmar, the Vice Chairman Upper Macungie Supervisors. He was not in his office at the time.

"Based on what I saw in there, I definitely wouldn't have survived," Ashmar said.

The Parkland School District said that, upon examination by emergency medical personnel, it was deemed that Smith might have lost her life before losing control of the bus.

"She came out of the bus, I don't believe she was wearing a seatbelt. It's all still preliminary, it's all still under investigation, but we know she was ejected from the bus," said Sgt. Roger Heins of the Berks Lehigh Regional Police Department

Officials tell Action News that there were no students aboard the bus at the time of the accident. At the time of the incident Smith had dropped off high school students and was heading to a nearby mobile home park to pick up elementary students.

The view from Chopper 6 showed the bus had rammed into the back of the Upper Macungie Township Building, with some of the bus actually going through the wall and into the offices.

The bus was apparently heading west along Schantz Road toward Grimm Road before it hit another car then rammed the township building.

The car's front passenger fender was ripped off. The driver in that car suffered minor injuries.

Smith worked at Parkland for 12 years. She started her career in 1999 when she began driving a school bus for the District. Both her mother and brother are also bus drivers.

An autopsy on Smith is set for Tuesday.