COLUMBIA -- As the driver of her school bus prepared to turn onto Airport Boulevard on Friday morning, Jessica Kennedy said, she realized something bad was going to happen.
"I saw it coming, so I leaned over toward the person sitting next to me," said Kennedy, 19, a senior at Airport High.
A split second later, at 7:58 a.m., another bus crashed into the bus she was on.
The nearly 50 students aboard were showered with glass as the windows shattered. A total of 26 students and both bus drivers were treated at Lexington Medical Center, said Mark Shelley, hospital spokesman.
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No life-threatening injuries
No one had life-threatening injuries, and no one was admitted, he said.
Many complained of sore necks and backs. Others had cuts and bruises.
Bus driver Larry Read, 59, of Lexington, is charged with failure to yield, said Josef Robinson, of the S.C. Highway Patrol.
Robinson said Read turned into the path of Diane Johnson, 62, of Columbia, as Johnson drove an empty bus west on S.C. 302 away from the school.
The school district is working with police, reviewing the wreck to determine what actions should be taken, said Jim Hinton Lexington District 2 spokesman.
"Our main part of the day was making sure the kids were taken care of safe," Hinton said.
Several students aboard the bus, including Jessica Kennedy, saw the wreck differently than the police.
Brittany Jackson, 17, thought the empty bus had run a red light.
"It was one of the worst experiences of my life," Jackson said.
She said she thought Johnson had run the light and Read tried to swerve out of the way. Jackson escaped with a sore neck and headache.
"I don't know what the deal is with these bus drivers," said parent Brenda Kashmer, 37.
Kashmer's daughter, Jessica Senn, was sore and lost her favorite pair of shoes because one had to be cut off in the emergency room, but she otherwise was lucky.
"The guy sitting beside me got his head slashed," said Senn, 16. "Glass went right through it."
Had been uneventful week
If it hadn't been for the wreck, Friday would have capped off an uneventful first week on the bus for 13-year-old Morgan Harrelson.
Her father, Charles Harrelson, 34, said he thought the school district, hospital and police handled the situation well.
"They did a great job, I feel, in trying to assist anyone who needed assistance and comfort anyone who needed comforting," he said.
Morgan called her father, who was working on construction nearby, and told him about the wreck.
"We just thank the Lord she didn't get hurt," Harrelson said. "It could have been a lot worse."
The buses have been taken to the state lot, where mechanics will determine their future, Hinton said. The district has several spare buses it uses in cases such as these, he said.
Read has been with the district for two years. Johnson has driven buses for the district for eight years, Hinton said. Both have more than 25 years of experience with other districts, Hinton said. Neither has ever been disciplined by the district.