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Police: Drunk Driver To Blame For School Bus Crash

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CHAPTICO, Md. (WJZ) — A terrifying crash sent a busload of girls’ basketball players to the hospital in southern Maryland. Police say a drunk driver is to blame, and it’s not his first offense.

Kai Jackson has more.

A frightening experience for students and acts of heroism by their bus driver. The man who police say caused it has a criminal past.

There was a frightening accident Tuesday as a school bus ran off the road in Chaptico. On that bus, the girls’ basketball team from Great Mills High.

A member of the team describes what happened.

“We’re driving to the park, merging. I closed my eyes and then I felt something and then we were in the woods in the dark and everyone was scared,” a student said.

Maryland State Police say it happened about 9:23 p.m. Tuesday. Police say 45-year-old John Patrick Kravats of Mechanicsville went through a stop sign. As he did, they say Kravats’ pickup truck hit a Ford Fusion in the intersection with the right of way, propelling the Ford in the direction of the bus. The bus driver ended up crashing off the road into a cluster of trees.

The back of the bus was left dangling in the air.

“We had 33 individuals on the bus, 28 students, four coaches and a bus driver,” said St. Mary’s School Superintendent Michael Martirano.

The occupants of the bus were treated at a local hospital and released. The two occupants of the car, including a 13-year-old girl, were hospitalized.

Kravats, who police say is a registered sex offender, was treated for minor injuries and then arrested on a DUI charge.

“Our students were put in harm’s way as a result of irresponsible activity,” Martirano said.

The basketball team canceled practice Wednesday. They’ll resume workouts on Monday.

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