Iowa School Bus Struck by Oncoming Train, No Injuries Reported

A school bus stalled on train tracks and was struck by a Union Pacific train on Feb. 13, 2019. The school bus occupants were able to leave the vehicle in time. (Photo from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office.)

A Westwood Community School District bus stalled on railroad tracks southwest of Sioux City, Iowa and was struck by a train. The bus driver and only student on board evacuated safely before the collision.

The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office said the school bus was crossing the railroad tracks at 275th Street, when the bus stalled and was unable to move off the tracks. But the bus driver and student on the bus had enough time to exist the vehicle prior to the Union Pacific train striking it. The bus driver, student and the train conductor were all uninjured.

The bus was struck near the rear end and was spun around approximately 180 degrees.

The Westwood School District released the following statement to the community: “Due to mechanical failure a Westwood school bus was unable to make it over the railroad tracks at the intersection of 275th Street and Highway 75. The driver and one student were safely off the bus when the train was unable to stop in time. Our wonderful bus drivers jumped into action to make sure all of our students were picked up and to school on time.”

Jay Lutt, PK-3 principal and superintendent for Westwood Community School District, told School Transportation News that the bus “gelled up” while it was crossing the tracks.

The Iowa State Patrol is conducting the crash investigation.

This is the second incident involving a Union Pacific Train within the past month. On Jan. 25, a Union Pacific train struck a school bus in Texas. One student died, and another was critically injured in the crash.