School bus nicked in accident

Pickup truck's driver fell asleep at wheel; no one injured

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— A pickup collided with a Steamboat Springs School District bus carrying about 40 students Monday morning, but no one was injured.

Capt. Joel Rae of the Steamboat Springs Police Department said a Toyota Tacoma pickup driven by 27-year-old Richard Watson of Steamboat Springs was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown Steamboat just before 8 a.m. when Watson fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the eastbound lane.

Rae said Watson "glanced off the driver's side" of the oncoming school bus, then crashed head-on into a pickup that was traveling behind the school bus. The accident occurred just west of Dream Island Plaza.

"There were no injured students," said Ed Dingledine, the school district's director of transportation. "Both of the pickup trucks were pretty well mangled, and we had some scratches on the outside of the bus and some damage to the rear axle."

Dingledine said school district nurse Dot Haberlan was brought to the scene to examine all of the students on the bus. Most of the students were transferred to another bus and brought to school, but Dingledine said three of the students were released to their parents because they had headaches. Haberlan advised those parents to monitor their children for possible concussion symptoms.

Rae said Watson received a citation for careless driving.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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