Fall is a busy time of year on both state highways and on rural roads. The Nebraska State Patrol is urging drivers to be extra careful in the wake of two recent deaths involving motor vehicles and school buses. Colonel David Sankey says last year there were 123 school bus accidents and their goal is to reduce that number significantly.
On September 27th, 39 year old Douglas Watchorn rear ended a school bus on Highway 12 in Dixon County. On September 19th, 63year old Robert Swanson of Farwell was killed when the vehicle he was driving struck the rear of a stopped school bus on Highway 92.
No children were injured. Colonel Sankey says sun glare contributed to one accident and the other they believe was potentially caused by inattention.
He reminds drivers to keep eyes on the road at all times and keep distractions to a minimum because on some of these rural roads you never know what is over the next hill. This is the time of year when school buses are out and about a lot as well with harvest getting underway large machinery will be on the roads. Colonel Sankey says drivers have to take their time and be aware of surroundings at all times.
In 2010, one driver was killed after hitting a school bus, 24 were injured and 98 involved property damage only.