DRACUT -- The School Committee meeting at Harmony Hall Monday night completed what was for Superintendent of Schools Steven Stone a 17-hour day that began with his weathering some student criticism on Twitter of his 4 a.m. decision to not delay Monday's school opening in advance of a 1-inch snowfall. The weather made secondary roads slippery and may have caused a car to crash into a Dracut school bus with students aboard at 7:15 a.m.
Within minutes of the crash, Stone informed readers on the district's newly created Facebook page that "Bus 19 was involved in an accident a few minutes ago; the bus was carrying Lakeview and DHS students. All students are fine," Stone posted. "DPD and administration from both schools are on scene."
A "secondary bus" was quickly dispatched to deliver students to school, Stone reported.
Several students, including two who tweeted photos of the crash scene, which allegedly shows a sedan with its front hood crumpled after apparently striking the school bus broadside, said it was proof Stone had erred by not ordering a delayed opening.
"Very unfortunate to have the accident," said Stone, commenting after the School Committee meeting.
"Nobody was injured, that's a good thing. It's always a difficult gut-wrenching morning thinking how best to respond to that kind of situation. But it was pretty much (down to) wet pavement here throughout the town in the morning. It really wasn't that tough a call today, as there was no school in the area that had a delayed opening at all."
The area's superintendents communicate with each other on possible snow days "around 4 o'clock in the morning," Stone added, "and everybody's DPW was saying the same thing this morning."