Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 24, 2014

No injuries in school bus collision

Two-vehicle collision occurred on gravel road south of Fairfield.
By ANDY HALLMAN | Feb 28, 2013
A Fairfield community school bus was involved in a collision Wednesday and was towed to the busbarn that night.

A Fairfield community school bus was involved in a head-on collision with a pickup truck Wednesday afternoon.

No injuries were reported to either driver or any of the passengers.

Fairfield Community School District Superintendent Art Sathoff said Wednesday 17 students were on the bus and ranged in grades from elementary through high school.

The collision occurred at approximately 4 p.m. on Marigold Boulevard, which is the first east-west road intersecting Highway 1 south of Highway 34. It is a gravel road.

According to the Fairfield Police log, the school bus was driven by Patty Ingle, 52, and traveling north on Marigold. The driver of the pickup was Madison Nelson, 17, who was traveling south on Marigold. The pickup driver told police she lost control of the vehicle and fishtailed into the bus’s lane, colliding with the bus’s front left corner.

The police log indicates the road was 100 percent snow and ice covered at the time.

The collision caused approximately $2,500 in damage to the pickup and $3,000 in damage to the school bus. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Sathoff said the school’s transportation office contacted the parents of all 17 students. Sathoff also sent a recorded message to all parents to inform them there had been a bus accident and no one was hurt.

“I didn’t want wild rumors to start swirling,” he said.

Five of the 17 students were picked up by their parents at the scene. The other 12 were picked up by another bus and taken to their homes.

Sathoff said the first thing that went through his mind when he heard about the collision was the safety of the occupants.

“Any school administrator’s first concern is not wanting kids to get injured,” he said.

Sathoff heard about the collision from the school’s auxiliary services director, Fred McElwee.

“When he got the details, he told me a pickup had slid into the bus,” Sathoff said. “When you hear ‘slid into,’ it doesn’t sound quite the same as ‘head-on collision.’”

McElwee said Wednesday the collision occurred on a bend in the road.

“According to my driver, the other vehicle seemed to slide and then ran into the bus,” he said.

McElwee said he didn’t know how fast the vehicles were traveling but he said he didn’t think they were going very fast considering they were on a gravel road. He said both vehicles remained on the road and upright after the collision.

“We have had very few of these accidents,” McElwee said. “Our first concern is always student safety.”

McElwee said the damage to the bus is repairable.

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