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

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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.

Two 10-year-olds were seriously injured and taken to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, an Indianapolis Fire Department spokesperson said. They remained in serious condition late Tuesday night, according to a hospital statement.

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

"That's just the type of person she was," said Lawrence Township schools superintendent Dr. Shawn A. Smith. "She was here every day, never missed a day of work — just a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children."

Jordan served as principal of the school for 22 years.

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

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

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

The female bus driver, who has not been identified, 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 said of Jordan. "Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking about a legend of education."

Tuesday classes in the township were canceled.

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.

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.

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. Parents were asked to pick their children up from the school following the crash.