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bus crash

The Helena School District is investigating following a school bus crash Monday morning. No students were injured in the crash, according to the district.

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No injuries were reported after a Helena school bus was hit by a pickup truck and tipped onto its side Monday morning. 

The school district's Superintendent Jack Copps said two students and an attendant were on a special education bus traveling to Four Georgians Elementary School when it was hit by a truck pulling a trailer at the intersection of John G. Mine Road and Green Meadow Drive about 7:15 a.m.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper David Gleich said the bus driver was attempting to cross the intersection when the "angled collision" occurred, causing the bus to go 15 feet off the road, hit a power box and roll one-quarter turn.

The bus driver, John Bagley, was cited for failing to yield, Gleich said. Two adults and two juveniles were in the bus, and two people were in the pickup, he added. 

Copps said the driver, who has years of driving experience, is on administrative leave until the district receives a full incident report. A safety officer from First Student, the company that provides the school district's bus service, will come and investigate what happened.

Copps said a video feed from inside the bus is typically recorded to observe students. He said he didn't know whether there is any video evidence that can be used to determine if the driver was distracted.

Once a full report can be reviewed, Copps said First Student will make a recommendation on whether to keep the driver, but school district officials can reject a recommendation if they have safety concerns. 

Both students on the bus were wearing seat belts.

"I think the belts probably prevented injury," Copps said.

Although not required by law, Copps said all of the school district's buses have seat belts.  

"We were fortunate that one of the first individuals on the scene was a school nurse," he said.

After the students were examined by the nurse, they were released to their parents.

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