Pickup truck, MFL MarMac school bus collide

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

One student was transported to the hospital Feb. 3 after a pickup truck and MFL MarMac school bus collided at the intersection of Highway 18 and Falcon Avenue, in Monona, reported the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office.

The bus was traveling westbound on Highway 18 just after 8 a.m. when the juvenile driver of the truck failed to yield upon crossing the highway from Kwik Star, the release stated. The truck driver was cited.

Fifty-three elementary-age students, along with the driver and an aide, were on the bus at the time of the incident. Although the students later learned the bus had been involved in an accident, MFL MarMac Superintendent Dale Crozier said most were oblivious at the time.

“Most of the kids didn’t know it had happened,” he explained. “A few mentioned, ‘Why did we have to make such a big deal out of a breakdown?’”

Others thought the bus had simply hit a bump.

EMTs were on-scene lightning fast, Crozier said, checking over the students, who were then transported to school and taken to the library. Teachers and staff met them there and attempted to reach all the parents. EMTs also re-checked the students, at which time Crozier said he made the decision to send one student to Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien as a precautionary measure. Another student was sent home with the flu.

Although a minor accident, Crozier said the bus was damaged. However, the full extent was not yet determined.

“It’s a big bus, like a tank,” he said. “[The truck] hit at the wheel base and bounced off. We still drove it, but there was some damage.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the truck was disabled.

“The big thing [in this situation] is to stay calm,” Crozier said, citing his appreciation of the EMTs, firefighters, teachers and bus driver, Rowland Jones, who he estimated has been driving bus for 49 years.

In a statement, the sheriff’s office also expressed pleasure that there were no serious injuries.

“Drivers are cautioned to be extra careful when crossing through highways,” the department added, “especially during poor weather or low visibility conditions.”

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol, Monona Fire Department, MFL Ambulance Service and Farmersburg First Responders.

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