Vehicle crashes into high school, catches fire

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
A vehicle struck the facade of Cassville High School Wednesday night and caught fire after the wreck. Firefighters used heat-seeking equipment to find the source of the smoke and douse the fire. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Hole left in building facade after wreck

A vehicle crashed into Cassville High School at about 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 11, leaving a hole in the building before catching fire in the grass across the circle drive.

One female, a juvenile, was transported by ambulance from the scene to Mercy Cassville Hospital with moderate injuries.

Richard Asbill, right, Cassville schools superintendent, directs staff Dusty Reid, middle, director of facilities and operations, and Frank Goergen, custodial director, how to repair a hole in the facade of Cassville High School left after a vehicle hit the building. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Firefighters arrived within minutes and put out the smoking vehicle, a 2009 Pontiac G6, which was traveling on Highway Y into the city of Cassville before going off the left side of the roadway and down the hill, hitting the building, then accelerating back across the circle drive and coming to rest in the grass.

After the impact with the building, the vehicle caught fire under the hood and continued smoldering until Cassville fire crews extinguished the blaze.

No tickets were issued, and the juvenile was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, was on the scene of the wreck shortly after it occurred, and the district is continuing to assess the damage and options for repairs.

The exterior hole in the science classroom, Asbill said, is about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and on the inside, damage to the concrete is about 4-5 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide.

“Damage to the outside is to the brick, and on the inside, the concrete blocks have been cracked a bit more,” he said. “We closed off that classroom and moved the teacher, and no students have been in that room since the incident.”

Asbill said an architect was on site Thursday and Friday evaluating the damage, and a structural engineer performed an assessment on Monday.

“Once we get the structural engineer’s report, we will decide how to shore it up temporarily and complete full repairs,” Asbill said. “We will have to remove the brick from expansion joint to expansion joint and replace a number of concrete blocks.

“We plan to schedule the full repairs around a fall break, but that also depends on the options our contractor gives us.”

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