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Tuesday, April 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Driver, student injured in school bus accident

Two school bus accidents, one in north Spokane and the other in Mead, sent the driver of a car and a student to area hospitals Monday afternoon.

Spokane police responded to a car-versus-bus accident at the intersection of Ash Street and Grace Avenue about 3:45 p.m., Officer Nathan Bohanek said.

A woman who was driving the car was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center where she was treated for leg and neck injuries. Bohanek said one of the Spokane Public Schools students also was taken to a hospital. Neither appeared to have suffered critical injuries, he said.

Around the same time, a bus carrying four students from Colbert Elementary School tipped onto its side near the rural intersection of Day Mt. Spokane Road and Black Road. Neither the bus driver nor any of the students was injured, said Cal Johnson, Mead executive director of student services. Johnson said the roads being covered in 3 to 3 1/2 inches of snow appeared to be a factor in the accident.

Bohanek said the streets in the city accident were wet, but not snowy. He said a Spokane school bus, carrying 42 children, was traveling south on Ash. A woman driving a Mazda MX3 was traveling west on Grace when the bus hit her car on the passenger’s side. The car, which the bus pushed off the road at 2725 Ash, was totaled.

Bohanek was uncertain whether the driver stopped at the stop sign. He said the bus driver had the right of way and police would have written the woman a citation at the hospital but she was being treated with medications.

Bohanek did not disclose the name of the woman or the student.

Bohanek said the accident could have been worse if the bus driver hadn’t slowed down to drop off a student at the next stop, near Chelan Avenue. Many of students ran from the bus after the accident, Bohanek said, and some parents were upset.

Johnson said the Mead accident occurred when the bus was approaching a small hill. The bus’ back end began going sideways and it slowly tipped. Johnson said the bus was traveling about 15 mph.

Mead firefighters responded to a 911 call and the firetruck got stuck in the snow. It was pulled out by the same vehicle that lifted the bus. Johnson said the tires on the bus did not have chains because transportation officials did not foresee the tricky afternoon driving conditions. Mead Transportation Director Jack Lewis contacted the students’ parents and took the students home.

Johnson would not disclose the name of the bus driver.

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