Bus driver: Principal pushed students to safety before dying in crash

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A beloved school principal died and two children were seriously injured when a school bus jumped a curb at Amy Beverland Elementary School on the far northeast side of Indianapolis Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Two 10-year-olds were seriously injured and taken to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, an Indianapolis Fire Department spokesperson said.

Officials said principal Susan Jordan died after being hit by the bus. The bus driver told investigators Jordan pushed several students to safety before the crash.

“That’s just the type of person she was,” said Lawrence Township schools superintendent Dr. Shawn A. Smith. “She was here everyday, never missed a day of work. Just a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children.”

Jordan served as principal for 22 years.

The two children have non life-threatening injuries, IFD said.

The school bus lurched over a curb for an unknown reason and hit Jordan and two children, IFD said.

Susan Jordan (Photo Courtesy: Amy Beverland Elementary School)
Susan Jordan (Photo Courtesy: Amy Beverland Elementary School)

The female bus driver told firefighters she’s not sure why the bus accelerated and jumped the curb.

The driver and 25 students on board were not injured.

“We lost a great educator today,” smith he said of Jordan. “Quite frankly, we’re talking about a legend of education.”

Community leaders were visibly shaken as they spoke a few hours after the crash.

“As many of you already know I’ve been very close to the situation,” said Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier as he fought back tears. “It’s very hard to talk right now… we mourn Lawrence Township.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett also spoke.

“We express our condolences to the Amy Beverland Elementary School community and Lawrence Township schools,” Hogsett said.

An IFD official said Jordan was outside helping students board buses as she was hit.

The school bus involved, bus No. 244, was inspected four days ago and no problems were found, according to an Indiana State Police inspection report.

Parents were asked to pick up their kids at the school.

Emergency crews were called to the school around 2:45 p.m.

Amy Beverland Elementary School is in the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township.

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