An Omaha, Nebraska school bus with 14 children on board narrowly missed disaster when it crashed in an intersection, traveled down an embankment and stopped just short of hitting a 69,000-volt transformer, local TV stations reported.
The Student Transportation of America (Student Transportation of Nebraska) school bus driver and 14 of the elementary school students were taken by another bus to two different hospitals with minor injuries, then released after the 3:30 p.m. crash on Tuesday, the accident report stated. Twelve of the students were taken to a central command post at Children’s Hospital, and parents were able to pick up their children there.
In the accident, the school bus reportedly turned left on a green light but collided in the intersection with a lighting crane truck driving in the opposite direction. The school bus then struck an SUV, jumped a curb and traveled down the embankment, according to eyewitnesses. However, statements seemed to conflict on who was at fault, according to the police incident report obtained by School Transportation News, but the police ended up faulting the bus driver.
The bus plowed through a chain-link fence surrounding an electric power substation, coming to rest only inches from the large electric equipment, news pictures from the Omaha World-Herald and TV video footage showed. About $500 worth of damages to the fence were estimated in the report.
The police cited the school bus driver for “failing to yield,” the report stated. However, eyewitnesses commended the driver.
The crash, on N. 108th St. at Fort St., caused an estimated $2,000 of damage to the bus (made in 2014) and was towed to impound, stated the report. The other vehicle, which is owned by Urban Lift LLC, was also towed to impound. That driver was not cited, while the school bus driver, age 58, was.
Meanwhile, the driver of the 2016 Subaru Forester SUV, age 76, was not cited, and tested negative for the presence of alcohol. That vehicle was not towed, and the airbags did not deploy.
The police report said the bus driver and truck driver were both tested for blood and alcohol, and both drivers tested negative. There were a total of 15 persons in the bus and only one in the truck, and no air bags deployed in either vehicle.
The school bus driver stated on the police report that she was, “attempting to turn left and head westbound on Fort St., ... had a green light and did not see anyone coming, ... [then] started to turn and then was hit be vehicle #2.” In addition, the report said that the truck driver “stated vehicle #1 turned westbound in front of him and vehicle #2 and vehicle #3 collided.”
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