MCC coach still recovering following bus crash.

February 26, 2019

The 2018-2019 MCC Forensics Team

MCC coach still recovering following bus crash.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Mason County Central High School forensics team Head Coach Tom Richert is still recovering from his injuries sustained in a bus accident near Farwell that occurred last Saturday evening. Richert, along with four students and two other adults, was initially taken to MidMichigan Medical Center in Clare. He was then transferred to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. He had five broken ribs and a cracked vertebra. Richert said he expected to be in the hospital’s trauma unit at least one more day and will be out of work for about two weeks — he is also a teacher at MCC High School.

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Tom Richert

Richert recounted the crash and expressed his appreciation to all those who helped.

“Sitting in the front seat on the way home from Frankenmuth , I saw the bus begin to slide, we swerved side to side and I realized we were going to crash,” he said. “I yelled to the kids to brace themselves and grab unto so something.

“We hit a tree, which threw us around in a 360 degree spin. We hit hard and hit a second time into the ditch. It was surreal. I was thrown from my seat to the other side crashing into the opposite seat.

Once we had stopped, I yelled the best I could for someone to call 911. Becca Townsend, a junior at MCCHS, went to aid my (adult) judge, Bonnie Brown while Scott Strugill, another (adult) judge started to support me. Ann Genson, another (adult) judge, went to the aid of the students. Our bus driver hit her head and had burn marks on her hands. The students were amazing as they tried to remain calm. We were very grateful to Farwell High School Principal Dee Yarger for finding us transportation back to Scottville, as we were grateful to the Farwell bus driver.

“Mrs. Nead, our driver, was truly a gift to MCC that night as she maintained as much as she could control of the bus. The road turned from rain to ice in a short amount of time. I later talked to the police that had arrived on the scene, and he told me that if the tree had not bounced us back, .we could have had grave results.”

“ The EMTs, fire and rescue personnel and police were wonderful as they transported students, Bonnie Brown, and myself to the hospital. The care there was amazing.” Richert added that all the others were evaluated and released except for himself.

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