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Students recall school bus accident in Butler County

By Brian Heap
Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:25:14 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 01 2013 04:32:43 PM CDT
A view of the bus from above

Corey Gustafson and his little sister were terrified on Halloween.

But not because of ghosts or goblins.

"It was the scariest Halloween ever," he said. "We were going to die. That's what I thought."

He and his sister, Leah, were inside the bus invovled in an accident in Butler County October 31. He said The driver started crossing the water-covered bridge, when a back tire went over the edge and the bus toppled into the water below.

"We were all freaking out and crying and screaming," he said.

Corey said students used safety drills, and found the emergency door. Three older kids worked to get it open. The children pulled one another to safety and camped on the top of the bus for two hours until rescue crews pulled them to dry land.

"I saw all the emergency crews and the ambulance going down that road and the only traffic down that road at that time is the bus," he said.

Heather Rotramel, their mom, said she encountered several roadblocks as she tried to reach her children. She said she felt hopeless, trying to save her children.

"I started praying to God and I was like please let my babies be okay," she said. "Let all the kids be okay."

Leah said she was worried about a library book that got lost in the water. She said the school's principal told the librarian.

"I think she'll give you a pass on this one," Leah said.

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