School bus crash injures 1 at La Barr Meadows Road in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

School bus crash injures 1 at La Barr Meadows Road in Grass Valley

Emily Lavin
Staff Writer

A 9-year-old boy sustained minor injuries Wednesday morning after a pickup truck collided with a school bus loading passengers at a stop on La Barr Meadows Road.

The accident occurred around 7:51 a.m. just north of Dog Bar Road, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Tassone.

The school bus, traveling southbound on La Barr Meadows Road, was stopped at the bus stop with its red lights flashing and its stop sign extended.

Tassone said a white pickup truck and a green pickup truck were traveling northbound on the road, "both traveling too fast for approaching a school bus stop." After seeing that the bus had its stop sign extended, the driver of the white truck braked heavily, causing the truck's wheels to lock up.

The driver of the green pickup then struck the left rear of the white truck and lost control of the vehicle; the car drifted into the southbound lane of the road, and hit the front left side of the school bus, Tassone said.

The 9-year-old boy was in the bus's stairwell at the time of the collision, and was jostled. An ambulance transported the boy to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

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The driver of the bus, who was wearing a seat belt, received "a precautionary check-out" at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Tassone said.

There were three other students on board at the time of the collision; they were wearing seat belts, Tassone said, and none sustained injuries. All four of the students attend the Grass Valley Elementary School District, he said.

The drivers of the pickup trucks involved both reported pain, but refused emergency treatment at the scene.

Tassone said the bus absorbed the majority of the impact from the collision, which "minimized the overall shock that the students and the driver took."

There was one-way traffic control on La Barr Meadows Road following the accident; the roadway was reopened at about 9:15 a.m.

Tassone said the California Highway Patrol has received some complaints this year from parents and school bus drivers about cars failing to stop for buses loading passengers along certain stretches of La Barr Meadows Road.

"Every year, when school starts up again, we have to remind drivers what the rules are and just get everybody back in the habit," Tassone said.

On any undivided highway in California, cars are required to stop anytime a school bus has its red lights flashing and its stop sign extended — signals that the bus is loading or unloading passengers.

Tassone stressed that it's important for drivers to stop even if they don't immediately spot any children and reminded drivers that a school bus stop is a "high-risk event."

"It's too difficult to react properly when something unexpected happens," he said.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email elavin@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.