Montana bus with 40 people aboard tips on side

A school bus carrying about 40 people returning from a church camp flipped on its side Friday on a rural highway in northern Montana, injuring several students, none of them seriously, authorities said.

The bus was carrying students from a church study camp in Hungry Horse, Mont., to Harlem, Mont., when the accident occurred at 2:45 p.m. on Highway 2 near Devon, Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Joel Knutsen said.

There were no life-threatening injuries, he said.

Radio station KSEN-AM in Shelby reported injured students were taken to medical centers in Shelby and Chester. Clothing and luggage could be seen along one side of the bus, which blocked the highway, the station said.

It wasn't immediately known what church group was involved. Knutsen didn't know which district the school bus belonged to.

Knutsen said the bus driver apparently overcorrected twice after a wind gust pushed the bus to the edge of the highway, causing it to flip over.

Injured students were taken by ambulance and medical helicopter to three area medical facilities, including Marias Medical Center in Shelby, said center administrator Mark Cross.

About 12 people were being treated for various injuries at Marias Medical Center.

The students appeared to range in age from grade-school to high-school age, Cross said. Several adults also were being treated.

Crews were awaiting a tow truck to lift the bus and reopen the highway.

Devon is about 15 miles east of Shelby and 130 miles north of Helena.


Editors: Those seeking information about relatives who may be at Marias Medical Center are asked to call (406) 434-3130; 434-3133; 434-3134.