MMCRU school bus involved in accident

Thursday, October 27, 2022

CHEROKEE CO. ó An MMCRU school bus was involved in an accident on Thursday morning, Oct. 20, east of Marcus.

According to information shared via the school districtís Facebook page, the school bus was traveling westbound on 470th Street in Cherokee County when it was struck by a semi traveling north on F Avenue.

Additional information from the Iowa State Patrolís accident report stated that at approximately 7:34 a.m., a Mack semi was traveling northbound on F Avenue and failed to stop at the stop sign. The truck then entered the intersection of F Avenue and 470th Street in front of an MMCRU school bus which was westbound on 470th Street. The bus struck the right side of the semi trailer and both vehicles partially entered the ditch.

The driver of the Mack CX600 semi truck, registered to Niewenhuis Trucking of Hospers, was identified by authorities as James Nieuwenhuis, 61, of Hospers. Nieuwenhuis was not injured in the accident.

The Bluebird school bus was driven by Leslie Pedersen, 62, of Cleghorn.

The driver of the bus and students on the bus were attended to by emergency personnel at the scene with minor injuries reported. Pedersen and three unidentified juvenile students were transported to the hospital in Cherokee for treatment of their injuries. The accident report stated Pedersen was wearing a seatbelt with the seatbelt use saving the driverís life.

Three other students were checked out by first responders on scene and were not transported. The remaining students were picked up by an alternate bus and taken to school.

Ambulance crews from three communities were called to the scene, including Marcus ambulance, which transported Pedersen to the hospital. A helicopter was also initially called to the scene, but was called off and never landed.

The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the accident.