By Kelsey Givens
No injuries were reported after the driver of a white Mitsubishi SUV rear-ended a Nye County School District bus at the intersection of Irene and Leslie streets Wednesday afternoon.
Nye County sheriff’s deputies and Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Services were called to the intersection just after 3 p.m. for a report of an SUV that had crashed into the back of a NCSD school bus carrying six special needs children home from Floyd and Hafen elementary schools.
NCSD Director of Transportation Cameron McRae said according to the bus driver, the school bus was stopped and preparing to allow children off for the afternoon when the collision occurred.
“We have a recording system, and when we get back I’ll pull the hard drive and we’ll be able to validate what the driver indicates, and what witnesses indicate, that he was in fact stopped, that he had activated his student light appropriately, the brake was set, the red lights were on and they were getting ready to disembark,” he said.
Once emergency responders arrived on scene, they quickly evaluated the driver of the white vehicle as well as the occupants of the school bus and soon determined no serious injuries were sustained in the collision and no one would need to be transported from the scene for further medical care.
The Mitsubishi received the majority of the damage in the collision and could be seen sitting at the scene with a smashed-in front end and pieces of the hood and headlights scattered underneath the bus in front of it.
The school bus suffered a moderate amount of damage to its backend during the crash, McRae said, but was still capable of being driven from the scene to later be evaluated for repairs.
“Until I get it inspected, it appears moderate, but we’re going to be able to drive back until we can get it into the shop and then do a complete safety inspection. Obviously there’s some damage to the quarter panel, but it reacted exactly as the buses are designed to react,” he said. “They absorb this type of kinetic energy, they’re built for it. When I review the hard drive, I anticipate from numbers before, that you’ll barely notice this bus got hit other than the screeching of the tires and the thump. If these kids or the driver moved with the force of the collision it would surprise me. That’s why they make these buses like tanks. They’re compartmentalized and meant to protect the kids in situations like this.”
Deputies directed traffic around the scene as parents and guardians arrived at the intersection to collect their children once they had been seen by medics.
The intersection remained partially blocked for about an hour until everyone had been sent home and the vehicle could be removed from the scene.