UPDATE: School bus involved in four-car pileup

Friday, July 11, 2008 | 5:26 p.m. CDT; updated 4:54 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Craig Caldwell, center, a representative from the First Student bus company, questions the driver of the bus involved in a four-vehicle accident on Friday afternoon near the intersection of Broadway and Stadium Boulevard. Two people were taken to the hospital, according to police.

COLUMBIA — A First Student school bus caused a chain-reaction accident when it ran into a car at Stadium Boulevard and Broadway at about 3:50 p.m. today, Columbia Fire Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said.

After the bus collided with the car, that car then collided with two cars in front of it, causing a pileup.

No students were on the bus at the time of the accident, said Bill Lehman, contract manager with the bus company. The driver was unhurt, Sapp said.

One person was bleeding from the head, and at least two people were taken to the hospital.

Menghistab Siele, who witnessed the crash as it happened behind his car, said he saw the school bus run into the car in front of it.

A father and son who were in the car hit by the bus were taken away in an ambulance, Siele said.

Beth Kalimba, a driver of one of the cars, walked away unscathed, though her Pontiac was smashed up in the accident.

“I’m totally fine,” Kalimba said.

Another driver, Rene Barton of Kansas City, had just arrived in Columbia for her 30th high school reunion. Her car suffered minor body damage.

Missourian reporter Julia Haslanger contributed to this story.

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Mark Foecking July 11, 2008 | 7:19 p.m.

I see this behavior all the time with First Student drivers in the first ward. They are allowed to drive their buses home, and some of the drivers use them as private vehicles. It would not surprise me if the driver of the bus was distracted (cell phone, DVD player, other people in the bus).

The buses need to be run by the school district, and professionally. The way they do it now is an accident waiting to happen.


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