LINCOLN, Neb. — In the wake of two recent deaths involving motor vehicles and school buses, the Nebraska State Patrol is urging drivers to exercise caution during school pickup and drop-off times.
On the morning of Sept. 19, 63-year-old Robert Swanson was killed when the vehicle he was driving struck the rear of a stopped school bus in Howard County. No one on the St. Paul Public Schools bus was injured.
Little more than a week later, on the morning of Sept. 27, Douglas M. Watchorn was killed when the vehicle he was driving struck the rear of a school bus that was stopped to pick up a student. No one on the Ponca Public School District bus was injured. The investigation into the cause of this crash is ongoing.
“We’ve lost two lives and have been extremely fortunate others weren’t injured,” said Col. David Sankey, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “For everyone’s safety, we must all pay extra attention during those times when school buses are typically on the road.”
According to statistics from the Nebraska Department of Roads’ division of highway safety/accident records, there were 123 school bus crashes in 2010. Of those 123 crashes, one person was killed, 24 were injured and 98 involved property damage only.