NEBRASKA CITY – A Nebraska City bus driver kept his fourth grader passengers safe Wednesday afternoon after a collision on Highway 2 west of Nebraska City.
Tom Mead was driving Hayward students back from a field trip to the state Capitol in Lincoln when he approached the intersection with Highway 67 at Dunbar.
Mead: “I was headed east with a busload of kids and a lady made a left-hand turn in front of me. It was so quick I didn’t have time to touch the brakes.”
Mead said he didn’t know how far the drop off would be in a ravine a little further to the east.
Mead: “I was lucky enough to turn it. I don’t know about slowing it down. I think the bank is probably what stopped me. “I was more concerned about the safety of the kids.”
A press release from the Nebraska State Patrol says the turning Ford Fusion struck the bus.
The state patrol says there were 38 students on the bus and nearly two dozen sustained minor injuries.
Two other school buses traveling with the first picked up passengers from the crashed bus and took all 42 to CHI Health Nebraska City.
The driver of the car was attended to by rescue crews. She limped to the ambulance, but injuries appear to be minor. There was airbag deployment.
The bus, owned by Mid-States School Bus, Inc., stopped about 40 yards from the point of impact.
Had Mead not been able to turn the bus, it may have dropped into a deep ravine that feeds the North Branch of the Little Nemaha River.
Thursday morning NCN spoke with the mother of one of the fourth graders involved in that bus accident. She told us her 11-year-old son was transported by ambulance to Children’s after reporting significant pain to his abdomen. She told NCN A sonogram and CT scan revealed he suffered a Level 1 abrasion to his spleen. He was held with a surgeon on hand until roughly 3 AM, when doctors determined it was safe for him to be released. His mom said he is in stable condition this morning.