School bus, big rig collide in Wisconsin

May 23, 2008 5:35:32 PM PDT
A semi-truck slammed into the back of a school bus that had stopped to drop off students along a highway on Friday afternoon, seriously injuring five people. "One of the kids that was stepping off the bus was actually ejected as the bus was hit from behind," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.

" Two other children, the truck driver and the bus driver also were seriously injured, Beth said.

" The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, he said, but two of the children were airlifted to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee.

" The bus was loaded with 16 children from Wheatland Center School District, ranging from fourth to eighth graders. Some students had minor injuries and were taken to four area hospitals for treatment, Beth said.

" "As rescue people came, they found children scattered all over the grass. Some of the children were bounced around pretty handily," Beth said.

" The front end of the semi was smashed in, and the bus was pushed at an angle across part of the divided four-lane highway. Neither vehicle tipped over.

" He said investigators think the trucker did not see the bus. There were no skid marks where the accident happened about 3:40 p.m. just over a rolling ridge on state Highway 50.

" "The semi came over the hill and struck the bus right in the middle of the rear end," Beth said.

" The truck driver talked authorities later at the hospital.

" "He may have been occupied inside the cab drinking a soda," the sheriff said. "He was either coughing or choking on it."

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