Tree falls on bus in Clemmons with elementary school students on board

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CLEMMONS, N.C. -- Kylie Eskew remembers hearing a loud "boom" when a huge tree came crashing down on her school bus just before 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

"When that tree fell, there was a bunch of screaming and crying," said the 11-year-old.

Eskew was one of seven students from Clemmons Elementary School on the bus.

She says she and other students were sitting towards the middle of the bus when the tree fell, crushing the windshield and other windows.

The bus had pulled over on the corner of South Stratford Road and Winterberry Ridge Court.

Officials with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools say one student had a minor knee injury.

Not knowing what to do, Eskew called her mom.

"I was very scared,” said Robin Eskew. “She's on a bus and I hear screaming and a lot of chaos going on."

Robin says she was in shock when she got to the scene and saw how big the tree was and how much damage it caused.

"It's a blessing that she is fine," the mother said.

Gracie Smith, the bus driver, says she had stopped the bus to let one of the students off seconds before the tree fell.

"One limb came through the window towards me and I ducked,” Smith said.

Smith called for help and made sure her students were OK.

She says people driving by who saw what happened pulled over to help.

"They pulled the trees off of the door enough to open the side door, then someone opened the emergency exit from the back and we exited the bus from the back."

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