Driver overcome by pepper spray on school bus

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by Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 5:42 PM

CHEHALIS, Wash. -- A teen discharged pepper spray on a school bus Monday, causing the driver and five students to suffer some medical reactions, police said.

The bus, packed with 46 Tumwater middle school students, was headed to Mt. St. Helens for a field trip.

Investigators said a 13-year-old boy discharged the pepper spray and then tried to hide it.

The bus driver, a 28-year-old woman, had problems breathing but was able to safely pull the bus over along I-5, just south of Chehalis, before she became overwhelmed, according to Washington State Patrol.

Medical personnel and troopers responded to the scene just after 9:30 a.m. and treated five of the students for exposure. The bus driver was the only person hospitalized for additional treatment.

Troopers said a 13-year-old student discharged the pepper spray and then gave the container to a 12-year-old student to hide. As troopers were speaking with the 13-year-old, the second student passed off the pepper spray to another 12-year-old, investigators said.

The three involved students were transported back to Tumwater and released to school officials. The 43 other students were able to continue on the field trip on a new bus.

The incident remains under investigation.

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