Community Grieving After Butler Co. Fatal School Van Crash
CABOT (KDKA) – A 12-year-old girl is at Children’s Hospital recovering after a deadly school van accident Thursday in Butler.
The St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and School community is coming together to grieve the loss of bus driver Kathleen Webb and continue to pray for the recovery of one of their students.
As the school day was beginning at St. Luke’s in Cabot, the first task at hand was to pray for two families.
“We’ll be gathering at chapel. Even as we’re standing here, the kids will be going up to chapel where we’ll have a special time of prayer for Elizabeth, for her family and for the bus driver’s family,” Sr. Pastor Barry Keurulainen said.
While on her way to drop off a 12-year-old student, Webb veered off the road, hit a tree and rolled the school van. Webb did not survive the accident.
The only student on board was flown to the hospital with severe injuries.
“I was with Elizabeth and she responded so well last night, despite her injuries. I prayed. She said Amen to my prayer and blessing,” Pastor Keurulainen said. “She’s got injuries, she’s hurting, but she’s going to be okay. That’s the first thing.”
Keurulainen said today he’ll meet with classmates of Elizabeth one-on-one and said students are signing cards to give to her while she recovers.
However, he said while they are catering to the students’ emotions, they are not leaving out the hurting coworkers of Webb.
“Just as they’re coming in, talking to them, coming up to their window. Kind of giving them that pat and saying we’re here for you. Sometimes just to acknowledge to someone that you recognize that they have their own grief,” Keurulainen said. “We know a lot of these bus drivers. We’re in the community with them and we know they’re hurting as well. We entrust kids to their care every day and that’s no less today.”
A letter will be going home to parents today letting them know that school counselors and pastors will be on hand to help students through this traumatic experience.