Five school bus passengers seriously hurt in truck crash

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2017

A collision between a school bus and a dump truck in Grant County has sent five passengers on the bus to the hospital.

Sheriff's officials say the crash at a crossroads in Patch Grove caused one bus passenger to be thrown from the vehicle. The school bus was spun around, and remained in moving backwards, exiting the roadway, traveling through a ditch and barbed-wire fence, before coming to rest in a pasture. Two others were taken by parents, one was treated and released at the scene, and the rest were taken by rescue squads to area hospitals.

Aboard the bus were River Ridge School District students including a 5-year-old boy, two 5-year-old girls, a 6-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl, two 8-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy.

There were a total nine people on the bus, including the driver.

Randy Pugh, 59, of Viola, was driving a dump truck westbound on Highway P for Lepke Trucking of La Crosse. Injuries ranged from minor to severe, and some involved parties were still in the hospital Wednesday morning, the sheriff's office said.

Gundersen in Prairie du Chien, as well as Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster were where the injured were transported to. "It was heartening to see the response of our local ambulances, fire and sheriff's departments".

The Wisconsin State Patrol reconstructed the crash scene Tuesday.

According to a release from the Grant County Sheriff's Office, there were eight students and the driver on the bus at the time of the crash.

The names and conditions of the drivers and passengers are not being released at this time.

School was held Wednesday in the River Ridge School District, where its crisis team and faculty met before school to determine the course of action for the coming days.

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