Car hits school bus; one man hurt
Students, driver uninjured; car pried from under bus, victim extricated
Nineteen students and the driver of a First Student bus heading east on U.S. Highway 50 on Tuesday afternoon were not injured after the bus was rear-ended by a car.
The driver of the car, a white Buick LaCrosse, was taken by ambulance to a hospital. The extent of the man’s injuries and his name were not available Tuesday. The Buick, which rammed into the bus just as it had stopped to let off students, had to be pried out from underneath the bus.
Orchard Mesa Middle School students Brandon and James Chadd, who are brothers, said they were sitting in the back seat of the bus when the crash occurred.
“I was pretty scared,” seventh-grader James Chadd said. “I thought something flew out of the bus. I heard a whack and looked over and saw a car.”
Students on the bus attend Orchard Mesa Middle School and Grand Junction High School and were riding to their homes in the Whitewater area. Students watched from out the bus windows as emergency workers extricated the driver of the Buick, who was hauled away on a gurney.
“They were, like, freaking out,” eighth-grader Brandon Chadd said of the other students on the bus.
The Buick was following a white truck driven by Tony Whittle of Montrose. Whittle said he saw the bus was attempting to stop and so he attempted to get into the other lane. The pickup truck likely obscured the view of the stopping bus. Whittle and his passenger were not injured and after being interviewed by police, left the scene. The incident occurred at the intersection of Blair Road.
“I could see him coming and I could see he wasn’t going to stop,” Whittle said of the driver behind him. “I don’t think the bus driver did anything wrong.”
Another bus was called to take students home, and parents arrived in their own vehicles to pick up their children.
Trooper Kemmitt White of the Colorado State Patrol said it was likely a citation will be issued in the crash.