I thought as the bus rolled ‘this is how I die’

ITHACA, Mich. (WNEM) – A middle Michigan woman had a scary thought when an Ithaca school bus rolled over.

A bus carrying the Ithaca Ski Club was traveling northbound on US-127 on Wednesday when it swerved and overturned.

Rebecca Hartman survived the school bus crash.

“The first day was shock and sadness. And then yesterday I had to go back to the ER And it was just like physical pain and stuff and pain at night. And today I just woke up angry and I wish, I wish I knew who or why,” Hartman said. “I had time while we were driving in reverse to think ‘this is how I die.’ my daughter is about to lose her mother.

Hartman was a chaperone for the Ithaca Ski Club. 24 students and three adults were traveling to Harrison for an event.

She said the bus driver seemed fine.

“I heard him on the radio before he walked out saying ‘OK. I’ll let you know when I get back and you can pick me up.” And how are the children? How is everybody’. And everything was normal,” Hartman said.

Hartman sat in the second seat up front, staring at her iPad and feeling the soundtracks. When Hartman looked up, she saw the bus pull into the ditch.

“I looked at the driver, his head was tilted to the right,” Hartman said.

It was then that a teacher, Mr Whitford, jumped out of his seat grabbing the steering wheel to prevent the bus from entering oncoming traffic. Then the bus started to overturn.

“And I remember my peripheral vision, uh, seeing the kids, just seeing kids flying,” Hartman said.

Hartman said he felt like he was in a rocker. She said she didn’t feel any pain until she arrived at the hospital.

“I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Just every muscle, my ribs. I sneezed earlier and started crying because it hurt so much,” Hartman said.

She is at home recovering next to her daughter Judeah. Judeah was supposed to be on the bus but had a headache so she stayed behind.

Hartman calls it the best headache ever. She is glad everyone involved in the accident lived to tell about it.

“I want the children to know that they can ask the school for my email address, my number, I want them to contact me. If they want to talk about anything, if they can’t sleep. Anything, because only a few of us knew that experience,” Hartman said.


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