The following press release was sent to The Bloomingtonian by the Indiana State Police Thursday:
“Crash Involving School Bus Claims One Life
Owen County – A crash on SR 67 between a Spencer Owen Community School bus and a passenger car has claimed the life of one person.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., on August 12, 2021, Indiana State Troopers and Owen County Deputies responded to calls of a crash between a school bus and a passenger car on SR 67, just north of Gosport.
Preliminary investigation by Trooper Ian Portteus indicates a yellow 2015 International bus being driven by Taresa L. Tharpe, 56 of Gosport, IN was traveling northbound on SR 67 approaching Culross Rd. when the bus driver had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid a southbound passenger car that was driving erratically and had entered the northbound lane of travel. Tharpe had attempted to steer the bus onto the shoulder when it was then struck head-on by the car whose driver succumbed to their injuries.
At the time of the crash, the bus was occupied by 12 students, and the driver, Tharpe. Each occupant of the bus was evaluated by emergency responders and of the bus occupants, 9 juveniles were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. All other passengers were transported to Gosport Elementary where they were assisted by the SOCS Corporation.
A Toxicology test was provided by Tharpe and results are pending, which is required by law for vehicle operators involved in serious injury or fatal crashes. The Indiana State Police in conjunction with the Owen County Coroner will release the identity of the deceased driver pending identification and notification of next of kin. An autopsy of the unidentified driver is scheduled for tomorrow.
State Road 67 remained closed until approximately 8:00 p.m. between Smith Road and Culross Road for the crash investigation and removal of the vehicles.
The Indiana State Police were assisted by the Owen County Sheriff Department, Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department, Owen County EMS, Owen County Coroner, and the Spencer Owen Community School Corporation.