Troopers recognized for response to bus crash

Contributed photo by the Vandalia Fire Division

Firefighters, medics, and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers work to free the driver of a Piqua City Schools bus that was involved in a crash on SB I-75 on Dec. 14, 2018.

COLUMBUS — Three troopers and a patrol sergeant were honored this week for their actions responding to the scene of a wrecked Piqua City Schools bus in December.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sergeant David L. Robison, Trooper James M. Davis, Trooper Charles M. Gannon, and Trooper Jason R. Hutchison were honored on Monday for their heroic actions during the crash. Each were presented with the prestigious Superintendent’s Citation of Merit Award, at the Piqua post of the OSHP by Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent.

On Dec.14, 2018, Davis and Gannon were handling a crash on Interstate-75 in Montgomery County when they heard a traffic crash occur near Vandalia. Both responded to the scene and called for additional assistance after seeing several vehicles were involved, including a school vehicle from Piqua City Schools.

A Piqua City Schools bus driver and bus aide were in the school vehicle, which was heavily damaged. There were no students in the vehicle. As Davis assessed their injuries, the school vehicle began to fill with smoke. Davis and Gannon got their fire extinguishers and began fighting the fire. Robison and Gannon arrived at the scene. Gannon attempted to put out the fire, while Robison and Davis went into the burning school vehicle and helped remove one of the passengers.

Inside the vehicle, the driver’s legs were pinned under the dashboard, and she was unable to get free. Hutchison arrived on scene and looked for more extinguishers. The troopers assured the trapped driver that they would not leave her side, even though the thick smoke began filling the vehicle and breathing became very difficult. Davis, Gannon, and Hutchison continued to fight the flames with the fire extinguishers until the fire department arrived.

Their presence and calm demeanor were instrumental in keeping the driver calm throughout the ordeal. The fire department extracted the driver from the school vehicle, and she was transported by Care Flight to Miami Valley Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver was treated for serious injuries. She and her unborn baby are expected to make a full recovery.

Robison is a member of the 125th Academy Class. He earned his commission in November 1993. He was promoted to sergeant in April 2008 and is currently assigned to the Piqua Post. Davis is a member of the 143rd Academy Class earning his commission in June 2005. He is assigned to the Piqua Post. Gannon is a member of the 124th Academy Class, earning his commission in June 1993. He is assigned to the Dayton Post. Hutchison is a member of the 144th Academy Class. He earned his commission in October 2005 and is currently assigned to the Dayton Post.