Fatal bus accident in Wisconsin




Fatal bus accident in Wisconsin

Late Sunday evening, October 16, 2005, Mike Schoch, superintendent for the Chippewa Falls Schools in Wisconsin, received a call that no one ever wants to receive.  One of four busses carrying high school students, chaperones, and teachers home from a band competition was involved in a fatal accident less than forty miles from home.  The bus, a Chippewa Trails Tours charter, slammed into an overturned semi-truck which blocked all westbound lanes of Interstate 94.  The accident resulted in the deaths of five people, including the bus driver, the music director, his wife, their granddaughter, and another student. 

The bus involved in this accident was one of four charters bringing passengers home from a marching band competition at the University of Wisconsin.   Of the 53 passengers involved in the fatal bus accident, five were killed, up to seven remain in critical condition, and several more suffered significant injuries including broken bones, punctured lungs, and other internal injuries.  The truck driver reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries. 

According to the Wisconsin state patrol, the semi-truck, carrying produce for the Whole Foods Market Group, Inc, veered off the road onto the shoulder.  When returning to the road, the semi overturned, blocking all lanes of traffic with its dark underside facing oncoming vehicles.  Police captain, Doug Notbohn, believes that the bus driver had little time to react to the overturned semi.  He reports that the cause of the truck’s swerving remains unknown, but will be investigated in the coming days.  He believes the issues surrounding the truck driver will be relevant to the investigation. 

This fatal bus accident will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on the students, families, and staff affected by this loss.  The superintendent reported that the school will be open today and several counselors will be on-site to help those affected by this fatal bus accident.  Authorities will continue to investigate the cause of this tragic bus- truck accident. 

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