Lancaster County and the Norris School District have been found liable in a 2009 school bus crash that left 23 schoolchildren with minor injuries and a pickup driver with a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and a possible leg amputation.
The ruling, from District Court Judge Steven Burns, stated that the county’s failure to check on a missing stop sign contributed to the accident, as well as the bus driver’s actions behind the wheel. According to the Journal Star, a mature cornfield also obstructed the view of both drivers and contributed to the accident.The accident occurred on Aug. 24, 2009, at Gage Road and 25th Street.
A 2001 GMC pickup truck, driven by Jeffery Hall, struck the bus, driven by Ronnie Alden. The bus and the truck both careened into a ditch, where the bus rolled onto its side and the pickup caught fire.
Hall was found to be 30% negligent in the incident, with 70% of the burden lying with the county and school district. The county and school district will be required to pay $770,000 to Hall.