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School bus rollover injures 9 from Potter-Dix

2 transported to Regional West; “we're praying for everybody” say residents

 


A bus rollover crash about seven miles northeast of Potter Thursday afternoon resulted in some significant injuries.

A Ford Ranger pickup truck was traveling west on County Road 40 and struck a Potter-Dix School District bus that was traveling north on County Road 83, according to the Cheyenne County attorney's office. Officials estimate that the bus rolled over one and one quarter times.

The accident occurred at around 4:30 p.m.

There were seven students on the bus from 10 to 16 years of age. All seven, as well as the drivers of both vehicles, were hurt. Injuries sustained in the collision included a broken pelvis, fractured ribs and severe head lacerations.

Six people were transported to Sidney Regional Medical Center at 6 p.m. Another arrived at 6:40 p.m. Two of those hurt in the accident were then transported to Regional West Medical Center by helicopter.

Four were released from SRMC later, after receiving treatment for cuts and bruises. The injured remaining in the care of SRMC are reported to be in stable condition.

Regional West spokespersons would not immediately confirm the condition of patients transferred there.

At press time the Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office investigation continued, with no official word of the cause or condition of the vehicles involved.

Volunteer fire department and ambulance personnel responded from Dalton, Gurley, Sidney and Potter. Emergency Management was also on scene.

Potter-Dix Schools Superintendent Kevin Thomas met with his emergency team on Thursday evening. On Friday he spoke with teachers and staff, before addressing the student body.

“We told them what we knew, factually,” he said, explaining that they did not report injury details due to HIPAA regulations.

Thomas offered students counseling if requested. He also allowed students to leave school to be with family members.

Word of the incident spread quickly through the crowd gathered in Potter for a high school volleyball triangular on Thursday evening. By Friday morning, friends and family were gathering in support of those hurt.

“It's a small town—everybody's close,” said Maida Gotfrey, owner of Potter Sundry. “We're all concerned and hope everyone's OK.”

Several of Gotfrey's staff spent the day with injured family members. Other residents helped out in the restaurant in their absence.

“We're just praying for everybody,” said Gail Dunkel.

Dave Faries contributed to this report

 

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