• September 29, 2022

13 Injured when Semi-Truck Hits School Bus near Champion, NE

Champion, NE — September 27, 2022, two adults and eleven children were injured when a tractor-trailer crashed with a school bus on a rural highway near Champion.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:00 p.m. on State Highway 15A outside Champion, close to the Colorado state line. Preliminary investigation suggests a school bus was making rounds dropping kids off after school when it allegedly turned left into the path of an approaching Peterbilt semi-truck loaded with grain. The truck hit the rear passenger side of the bus, which made it spin out and overturn on its side. The truck then ran off the road intoa nearby ditch.

All eleven children aboard the bus were transported to a county hospital for treatment of various injuries. Three were later airlifted to a regional trauma center for further treatment. The bus and truck drivers were also taken to a hospital.

The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on School Bus Accident near Champion

I often see people make the mistake of thinking that the information in preliminary reports is the final word on what happened. Folks should realize that first impressions from police rarely translate into a complete picture of events, and it's important to look more closely to be sure all the facts are found.

Take this crash, for example: Current reports paint a picture of a bus potentially failing to yield to an oncoming truck while turning. Maybe that's all this was, but at the same time there are still a lot of variables to address: Were both drivers aware of the other vehicle? If not, why not? Were sightlines good along that stretch of road? Did it curve in that area? How fast was the truck traveling? Was there time or room to slow down or steer clear of the turning bus--particularly if only its rear was still in the truck's path when the collision happened?

2 Drivers, 11 Students Injured when Semi-Truck Hits School Bus near Champion, NE

That's just a handful of the many questions that still need attention in the name of learning the whole story. Closer investigation might just find that police had things right, but I've seen more than enough instances where independent experts found crucial details overlooked by law enforcement. It's a pity when that happens because an incomplete or incorrect police report can be a major hurdle for people seeking answers or help after a crash. Will the right steps be taken to ensure the truth is found in Nebraska?

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