INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 26, 2016) – Principal Susan Jordan was killed and two kids were seriously injured in a bus crash outside Amy Beverland Elementary School in Lawrence Township Tuesday afternoon.
The incident occurred outside of the school around 2:45 p.m. According to IFD’s Rita Reith, there were 25 kids on a stationary bus when the bus lurched forward. Those students were evacuated from the bus via the rear door.
Police initially believed up to four children were injured in the incident, but it has since been confirmed that two children suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. A 10-year-old male student and a 10-year-old female student were taken to Riley Hospital. According to Lawrence Township district administrator Deanna Renbarger, the male student was treated and released with minor injuries. The female student suffered a laceration to her lower leg. Both students are expected to make a full recovery.
According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, the driver of the bus said Jordan was able to push several children out of the way before she was fatally struck.
MSDLT Superintendent Dr. Shawn Smith announced in a press conference at the school at 5 p.m. that Principal Jordan was the victim in the accident and died at the scene of the crash.
“As superintendent of schools and a representative of the entire school community, we lost a great educator today. We are going to work closely with the authorities. We want to make it very clear it was an accident. We just ask everyone in this community and beyond please pray for our students and our great leader. Thank you,” said Dr. Smith.
The driver of the school bus was not injured in the crash. As per protocol she was subjected to a blood draw to check for any alcohol or drugs, but there is no indication she was under the influence. She has no history whatsoever of any moving violations or discipline issues, and she’s been a model employee.
According to IMPD’s Kendale Adams, early indications appear it was a freak accident.
Officials, members of the Lawrence Township school community and many parents posted their condolences on social media. All messages expressed the utmost respect and the fondest of memories of Susan.
“This great school behind you has only had two principals in its history and Susan was one of them, said Dr. Smith. “Quite frankly ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about a legend in education.”
The Lawrence Township school district will not hold classes on Wednesday. There will also be no before and after school care.
The following locations will be open for emotional support from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
- Amy Beverland Elementary, 11650 Fox Road
- Belzer Middle School, 7555 East 56th Street
- Transportation, 5850 thunderbird Road
- Lawrence Education and Community Center (LECC), 6501 Sunnyside Road
All students and staff will return to classes and activities Thursday.
Direct administrators will be present at the school the remainder of the week and will provide support to students, teachers, parents, and building personnel.
Mayor Joe Hogsett was also at the press conference this evening to give his condolences and support to the Amy Beverland community.
“I cannot express deeply enough the sympathy and condolences that all of the city feels, only for the family of Susan Jordan but for those children that were affected by today’s accident. We dispatched first responders, IMPD and IFD, in cooperation with our Lawrence partners on scene. We will continue to be on scene throughout the rest of the evening with critical response personnel as well as chaplains to serve the needs of the people of this community. It is on tragic afternoons and evenings when we are led to cry and to mourn, but it is on this afternoon that we are also reminded of the goodness of the people that respond to tragedies like this and that we are, in fact, one city. We will endure. There will be tomorrow, as sad as this evening has been. And we express our condolences to the entire Amy Beverland community and Lawrence Township schools,” said Mayor Hogsett.
The Lawrence Township Board of Education issued the following statement:
“The School Board of MSD Lawrence Township expresses its deepest condolences to the family and school community that so dearly love Susan Jordan.
“Susan was an amazing educator. She had a remarkable way of making everyone she came in contact with feel valued and important. She had a passion for children that is unmatched. The entire Lawrence Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to the Amy Beverland Community the multitudes of people whose lives she touched.”
The school is asking people to donate books in Jordan’s memory in lieu of flowers:
Watch officials' press conference: