Chesterton Tribune



Duneland school bus slides into 1050N ditch, no one injured

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No one was injured Monday when a Duneland School bus left the roadway on 1050N and slid off a soft shoulder into a ditch.

The accident occurred at 3:37 p.m., Duneland Transportation Director Jim Bonfield told the Chesterton Tribune today.

The bus was eastbound on 1050N, east of 11th Street and en route to the Duneland bus barn, when the right front wheel left the pavement and hit a shoulder made squishy soft by the thaw, Bonfield said. “There’s a 10-inch drop where the driver first hit it and the shoulder’s so soft, it’s muck. The bus weighs 36,000 pounds and just got sucked in. She couldn’t get it back out.”

“We’ve seen this happen numerous times to other vehicles but never a bus,” Bonfield added.

There was only one student aboard, Bonfield said: the son of another driver, who is customarily driven to the bus barn after school.

“We’re very fortunate no one was injured,” Bonfield said. “It certainly is a testament to how structurally sound school buses are, with reinforced roofs. School buses are like big tanks.”

“It’s a very wide bus on a very narrow road,” Bonfield noted. “The road could certainly use some structural repair, maybe a gravel shoulder. Once you drop the right wheel off, you can’t recover.”

Bonfield described damage done to the bus in the accident as “major.”

The Porter County Sheriff’s Police did respond to the scene, Sgt. Larry LaFlower told the Tribune this morning.


Posted 4/15/2014