School bus crashes into utility substation in Omaha

School bus crashes into utility substation in Omaha
World-Herald News Service

A school bus driver and 14 elementary school students were taken to local hospitals to be checked out after the bus struck two other vehicles and rolled down an embankment at 108th and Fort Streets.

Monique Farmer, spokeswoman for the Omaha Public Schools, said the students were treated for minor injuries and released. The bus driver’s condition was not available.

According to a witness, the crash occurred when the bus and a crane truck, traveling in opposite directions, collided in the intersection.

Caitlyn Buhl of Omaha said the crane truck was traveling south on 108th Street and the bus was heading north. The crane truck, which had been stopped at the intersection, got a green light and pulled forward (Buhl’s vehicle was in the lane next to the truck, heading in the same direction).

As the crane truck pulled into the intersection, the bus also drove into the intersection, preparing to turn left.

After colliding with the crane truck, the bus struck an SUV, went off the road, over a sidewalk, through a fence and down an embankment, Buhl said.

The crash occurred about 3:30 p.m.

Farmer said the students were from Adams Elementary School.

Buhl said she and others rushed down the embankment to help the kids.

The front door of the bus was wedged shut, so the students came out the back of the bus.

“The kids came out screaming and crying, it made me cry,” she said. “It was pretty scary.”

The bus stopped short of high-voltage equipment at a substation belonging to the Omaha Public Power District.

Following the crash, the bus remained in place for some time, until OPPD personnel could secure the scene for the bus to be safely moved.