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A car accident involving a St. Paul High School bus occurred about 3:30 p.m. on March 11 near Rising City.

Butler County Sheriff Tom Dion said a school bus carrying 10 students, one teacher and a bus driver was traveling home from an art contest in Omaha when it rear-ended a pickup truck traveling in front of it at the intersection of Highway 92 and County Road B.

Due to poor road conditions, the bus driver was unable to see the turn and brake lights on the truck indicating it was turning west as the lights were obscured by mud, according to Dion. Both vehicles were damaged, but Dion said the damage was minimal enough to where both vehicles could be repaired.

The female truck driver was uninjured, but later cited for possession of marijuana less than one ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dion, who did not name the driver, said it was believed marijuana usage did not play a factor to the crash.

St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent John Poppert said five of the students were sent to hospitals in Osceola, Columbus and David City for observation, but all have since been released. The bus had to be towed as it had a leaking radiator, so Poppert, another facility member and a parent drove out from St. Paul to pick up the students. Poppert said he wanted to thank the Shelby-Rising City School District for its support along with local first responders.

“That’s the most important thing is that our students are safe,” Poppert said Tuesday morning. “They have some bumps and bruises, but there were no serious injuries at this time that we are aware of.”

Dion praised the work of the fire departments from Rising City, Surprise, David City, Bellwood and Shelby who all responded to the crash.

“Thank God nobody was injured or killed, and the fire departments did a wonderful job,” Dion said.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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