Drivers escape injuries in school bus rollover

‘Thank God there were no kids on the bus. It would have been bad.’

By BETH ALTENA

There were no students on this Rockford Public school bus when it rolled after being struck by a vehicle at the intersection of 12 Mile Road and Courtland Drive.

Director of Transportation Jackie Fase said she is amazed and thankful no one was injured and no children were involved in a collision between a Rockford Public School bus and a car on Thursday, October 6 at 7:25 a.m.

The 2001 Thompson school bus was traveling west on Twelve Mile Road when a 2010 Ford Flex traveling north on Courtland Drive failed to stop at the stop sign and struck the bus. The bus was driven by Connel Traxler, 24, and the Ford Flex was driven by Roger Huard, 57, both of Rockford.

According to Deputy Tim Lewis of the Kent County Sheriff Department, the impact ran the bus off the road where it hit a tree and then rolled. The Ford Flex came to rest near a driveway on the southwest corner of Twelve Mile and Courtland Drive. Both drivers were able to leave their vehicles and able to walk after the crash. The bus sustained severe structural damage with pieces littering the intersection.

“Thankfully because he [Traxler] is healthy, athletic and strong he is doing remarkably well,” said Fase. Fase said the intersection is notoriously dangerous and Dr. Shibler Rockford’s Superintendent of Schools has asked the Kent County Road Commission to improve conditions there. “You can’t even see if someone is coming until you pull halfway out into the intersection,” said Fase.

“Truthfully, when I walked up to that bus there wasn’t anything in my being that thought someone could be alive,” she said of her initial view of the bus, which was completely totaled. “Thank God there were no kids in there. It would have been bad.”


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