COTTONWOOD — A pickup truck and a school bus operated by Palmer Bus out of Cottonwood collided in a two-vehicle crash at approximately 3:50 p.m. Friday.
According to a release from the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office, 41 Lakeview School District students were on board the bus at the time of the crash, which occurred on Yellow Medicine County Road 8 just south 240th Avenue in Friendship Township.
The pickup driven by Tracy Kocher, 41, of Echo was traveling south on County Road 8 when the vehicle reportedly drifted into the lane of the north bound bus. The bus driver, Claire Erickson, 64, of Cottonwood tried to avoid Kocher’s vehicle by entering the edge of the road ditch. Kocher’s vehicle struck the school bus on the driver’s side as the bus was partially off the roadway trying to avoid the pickup on the wrong side of the roadway. Both vehicles received major damage.
All 41 students were checked and at the scene and suffered from no injuries at the time. The bus driver and pickup driver were both checked by ambulance staff with no apparent injuries. The pickup driver, Kocher stated he fell asleep; no other impairment was detected. Kocher was cited for multiple traffic violations. The case remains under investigation by the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office. No further information is available at this time.
Along with the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office the Clarkfield Ambulance, Granite Falls Ambulance and Minnesota State Patrol responded to the accident scene.