OROVILLE – A small pickup rear-ended one of the Oroville Head Start buses on the Hwy. 97 bridge south of here sending six people, including three children, to the hospital around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Although only three people were listed as injured at the scene, the others were sent to North Valley Hospital as a precaution, according to the Washington State Patrol report filed by Sgt. M. Saunders.
The small 2006 GMC school bus was being driven southbound on Hwy. 97 when the driver, Charity R. Sutton, stopped for the railroad crossing to check for the train when the bus was hit from behind by Cassandra G. Snider who was driving southbound in a 1979 Chevrolet Luv pickup.
Snider, 28, Tonasket, was transported to North Valley Hospital with injuries. She was charged with failure to control her speed to avoid a collision, according to the Trooper’s report. A four-year-old passenger in the pickup was also taken to the hospital with injuries. Another passenger, Benjamin Snider, 28, was uninjured. The pickup was highly damaged and totaled at the scene. It was towed by Thompson Bees.
The bus, which was incapacitated, showed little damage other than a pushed-in rear bumper. Sutton, 29, Oroville, was also injured and taken by ambulance to NVH. Passengers in the bus included Kari G. Barker, 32, and a four year-old and a two-year-old. They were all taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
Efforts to restart the gasoline-powered bus failed because of the automatic fuel pump shut off and one of the troopers used his patrol car to push the bus off the bridge onto a side road.
In addition to the Washington State Patrol, personnel from the Oroville Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene. Oroville and Tonasket ambulances and crews helped transport victims to the hospital.
All parties involved in the accident were wearing seat belts, according to Sgt. Saunders.