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Accident involving school bus results in minor injuries

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | 6:46 p.m. CDT; updated 10:58 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 24, 2009

COLUMBIA — A school bus containing 43 students was struck by a car Thursday afternoon, but the accident resulted in only minor injuries, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

A blue 2008 Nissan Altima hit the bus, which was traveling with students from Lange Middle School and Oakland Junior High School, at about 12:45 p.m. The bus, driven by Beverly Taper, 39, of Columbia, was at Golden Bear Drive on Old 63 when the accident occurred.

The Altima, driven by Jessica Schwickerath, 30, of Columbia, was traveling northbound when she crossed into the lane of the First Student Transportation school bus. The Altima hit the left rear tire of the school bus, then returned to the correct lane where it came to a stop.

The Columbia Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services personnel and Columbia police responded to the report. Firefighters used hydraulic tools to open the driver's side front door.

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Schwickerath's door would not open on the driver’s side of the vehicle, so firefighters used hydraulic tools to open the door.

The Altima also had damage to the front end, and the windshield was damaged by the deployment of the airbag. The school bus had damage to the left rear tire.

Schwickerath and her two children, ages 1 and 2, were all wearing seat belts and child restraint seat belts properly, police said. The two children were uninjured, but were transported to the hospital along with their mother, who complained of neck and back pain.

A 14-year-old female student riding the bus was transported to University Hospital after complaining of head pain. The other 42 students and Taper were uninjured. A second bus was brought to the scene by First Student Transportation to take the uninjured students home.

The road was open again after about 45 minutes.

The Columbia Police Department could not be reached for further comment.


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