LINCOLN — An investigation has faulted both drivers in a school bus collision last month near Blue Hill, Neb., that killed four people.
Two students and the drivers of the school bus and a semitrailer truck died when the vehicles collided at an unmarked intersection southeast of Blue Hill. Five other students riding in the bus were injured.
Travis Witte, 21, of Blue Hill did not have the required Class A commercial driver's license to operate the truck he was driving, Webster County Attorney Sara Bockstadter said Thursday in a press release.
Meanwhile, Bockstadter said, bus driver Marla Wentworth, 59, of Red Cloud failed to properly yield the intersection to the semi, which was on her right.
Both factors possibly contributed to the Sept. 5 crash, Bockstadter said.
Investigators determined the vehicles entered the intersection shortly before 5 p.m. at about the same time, she said.
“The investigation revealed that both drivers had an unobstructed view of the roadway and the opportunity to see each other,” Bockstadter said.
Drugs and alcohol were not involved.
Bockstadter declined to provide additional information.
An eyewitness to the crash, who came to the aid of the surviving children, has said he saw the front of the semi strike the side of the bus.
The semi was loaded with hay bales.
The vehicles were traveling on gravel roads. Both the bus and semi caught fire after the collision, which destroyed their data recording equipment and hampered the ability to determine the speed of the vehicles before the crash.
Also killed were Dustin Tesdahl, 18, and Caroline Thallman, 10, both students at Blue Hill Community Schools.
The students on the bus ranged in age from 6 to 18.
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