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Students OK after bus/big rig crash in Loomis

Tractor-trailer truck hits bus on Sierra College Boulevard
By: Joyia Emard, Gold Country News Service
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LOOMIS, CA — No one was injured this morning when a tractor-trailer truck hit a school bus carrying Loomis Union School District children, according to officer Rich Schweiger, with the California Highway Patrol. At 7:45 a.m., today, Thursday, Feb. 16, a Mid-Placer Public Schools bus, carrying five students, ages 8 to 12, from H. Clarke Powers Elementary, Loomis Grammar and Penryn Elementary schools, was traveling southbound on Sierra College Boulevard and attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Bankhead Lane, said Martin Ward, chief executive officer of Mid-Placer Public Schools Transportation Agency. Ward said the big rig, traveling in the same direction, was behind the school bus and then appeared to attempt to pass the bus on the driver side as the bus was attempting to turn. He said both vehicles were traveling at a slow rate of speed. He said the big rig hit the left, lower part of the school bus on the driver side, damaging the area below the area students sit. He said there was a child sitting near the area of impact who was not injured. He said the students were transported on to their respective schools by another bus. “School busses are extremely safe because the floor of the bus is three feet off the ground, providing safety for the students. Damage to busses is usually all in that lower area,” Ward said. Dave Martinez, Highway Patrol spokesman, said Sierra College Boulevard was closed at the railroad crossing because of Union Pacific track upgrades, adding an extra 10 minutes to Schweiger’s response time. The bus was following the detour route onto Bankhead Lane because of the railroad crossing closure. There were no flaggers present, Ward said. Loomis Union School District Superintendent Gordon Medd confirmed that the students arrived at their respective schools and parents were notified. Both vehicles had to be towed. Schweiger said the accident is under investigation.