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Red light runner cause of bus crash
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A driver that ran a red light caused a crash Wednesday morning that involved a buss full of school children.
None of the 43 children on board the bus suffered serious injuries. Most were shaken up by the accident and a few had bumps and bruises and complaints of pain, said Turlock Police Lt. Ron Reid. The children are all students at Julien Elementary School.
Everyone involved in the crash refused medical care, according to the Turlock Fire Department, which also responded to the accident scene.
The crash happened around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday at N. Palm Street and E. Olive Avenue, and was investigated by the California Highway Patrol, which handles all collisions involving buses.
According to the CHP’s findings, a Ford Taurus traveling westbound on Olive ran a red light and broadsided the bus, which was headed north on Palm, said CHP Officer Charles Leon. The collision completely crushed the door of the bus.
The impact sent the Taurus spinning through the intersection and up onto a curb, Leon said. The bus went up onto the sidewalk and struck a pole, several small trees and bushes and two parked cars.
The name of the Taurus driver was not released. The driver declined medical treatment, Leon said.
Alcohol or drugs was not found to be a factor in the crash, Leon said.
The debris from the accident was spread over 100 yards and Palm and Olive were closed for a time during the investigation and the clean-up.
The school children were put on another bus and transported to Julien.
School bus accidents are a rare occurrence, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Children are nearly eight times safer on a school bus than they are in a vehicle and school buses have a fatality rate of 0.2 percent per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to 1.5 percent in vehicles, according to the NHTSA.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.