A Belmond-Klemme school bus carrying four student passengers and its driver was struck by a semi tractor-trailer on a County Highway C20 in Wright County at approximately 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.
The semi driver allegedly did not see the school bus traveling along the country highway and ran a stop sign striking the bus on its side near the rear of the bus. The impact spun the bus around on the road.
“The force of the collision was so great that it spun the full-size school bus 180 degrees. Yet, miraculously, the bus never left the road. If the bus had been thrown into a ditch, it could have resulted in severe injuries,” said Belmond-Klemme Director of Transportation Jon Swenson.
An ambulance and a county deputy were quickly at the scene of the accident. The four students and the driver appeared to be free from injuries but were transported by ambulance to the Iowa Specialty Hospital of Belmond for further examination.
The school bus was nearing the end of its route which resulted in relatively few students remaining on the bus. County Highway C20 is a well-marked and well-traveled roadway in Wright County.
The driver of the school bus was Randy Dougherty, a veteran driver with 39 years of experience.
“The driver was a hero in this accident. He immediately called for an ambulance and law enforcement, checked the welfare of the student passengers, and kept the students calm and attended while waiting for the paramedics,” said Swenson.
Parents of the four students were quickly informed by the school of the accident and were directed to the hospital where the students were being examined.