Aspen students reportedly fine after school bus accident |

Aspen students reportedly fine after school bus accident

For some students in the Aspen School District, the first day of school for them got off to a rough start Thursday when the bus they were riding in was grazed from behind by a Honda going eastbound on Highway 82.

Nobody was hurt and the students were about 15 minutes late for the opening bell, school officials said. Forty-six students were aboard the bus, according to Gary Vavra, the school district’s director of transportation and facilities.

Thursday marked the first day of class in Aspen public schools for elementary children. The middle and high schools started class Monday.

The school administration sent an email to parents about the accident shortly after 11 a.m.

“Police and paramedics were called to the scene and the bus was released a short time later,” the email said. “Students will not be marked late to school. The accident was not the fault of the bus driver. The school bus was hit from behind while driving down the bus lane, just past the Aspen Airport on ramp, as a vehicle tried to merge onto Highway 82.”

Vavra said he visited the scene of the accident and talked to the bus passengers, who reported they were fine and not injured. Paramedics and law enforcement also were called to the scene, and the students were not released until they received official medical clearance.

“As a standard procedure for any accident, when students are on board we call paramedics and the police,” he said.

The driver of the Honda and its passenger were not hurt, said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Todaro.

While the Honda driver was found at fault, Todaro did not write a ticket or call the Colorado State Patrol to investigate further because of the minor nature of the accident. Other than some nicks and paint damage to the bus and Honda, the miscue didn’t rise to the level of issuing a ticket, he said.

“Luckily, both parties were going slow enough that it wasn’t any more of a deal than it was,” he said, adding the “driver was pretty shaken up.”

Calling the State Patrol to the scene would have delayed getting the students to school, he said!

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