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Driver of vehicle killed after collision with Wood County school bus

One high school student taken to hospital

First responders work at the scene of an accident Wednesday on West Virginia 47, where the driver of an SUV died following a head-on collision with a school bus. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — A man died Wednesday afternoon following a head-on collision with a Wood County Schools bus on Staunton Turnpike outside of Parkersburg.

It is not clear what caused the collision, which remains under investigation by the Wood County Crash Team, Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens said.

The crash was reported around 4 p.m. The bus was carrying 22 students and traveling south on Staunton Turnpike, also known as West Virginia 47, while an SUV was headed north, Stephens said. They collided about half a mile north of West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

The driver of the SUV was David Shutts, West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s admissions counselor, said WVU-P President Chris Gilmer. Shutts was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I spoke with David’s wife Brittany this evening to express my personal sympathy and the deep sorrow of the entire college family. I admired David’s commitment and joy as a husband and father to his two children and his commitment to excellent service to our students. We have offered our support to the family and will be taking steps to comfort the many employees and students who loved him and feel his loss profoundly,” according to Gilmer’s statement on the university’s website Wednesday.

Traffic was snarled on both lanes of West Virginia 47 Wednesday afternoon following a collision between a Wood County Schools bus and an SUV. The driver of the SUV was David Shutts, West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s admissions counselor, said WVU-P President Chris Gilmer. Shutts was pronounced dead at the scene. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Traffic was backed up both ways for quite a while, and the scene wasn’t cleared until about 7:30 p.m., according to a supervisor with the Wood County 911 Center.

All the children on the bus were high school students, Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook said.

“We did have one student that was transported by ambulance” to WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center, he said.

The others were taken by another bus to Kanawha Elementary School, where they were checked by school nurses and released to their parents, Hosaflook said.

Staunton Turnpike resident Emily Harvey, 17, said she went outside after hearing the impact.

Traffic was snarled on both lanes of West Virginia 47 Wednesday afternoon following a collision between a Wood County Schools bus and an SUV. The driver of the SUV, David Shutts, West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s admissions counselor, was pronounced dead at the scene. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“It was pretty loud. Definitely could tell it was a crash,” she said.

A number of parents came to the scene, Harvey said.

“I’ve been talking with some of the parents. They were really worried,” she said.

Hosaflook said school counselors will be available for any students who need to speak with them today.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com

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