- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

VALPARAISO, Neb. (AP) - A pickup driver died after his truck collided with a school bus carrying 11 children at a rural intersection in eastern Nebraska, a county sheriff said Thursday.

Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said several children on the bus suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospitals. The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, about six miles northwest of Valparaiso.

Superintendent Sam Stecher of East Butler Public Schools said all of the children were checked out, treated if required and then released to their parents or guardians. The children ranged up to sixth grade and were headed to school in Brainard. None of the children continued on to their classes Thursday, Stecher said.

The driver also was taken to a hospital for treatment and then released. Stecher said it was his understanding the driver had been driving a district bus for more than 30 years. Stecher wouldn’t release the man’s name.

The sheriff said the pickup was headed south on County Road 29 when it collided with the bus, which was going west on County Road H. The rural intersection had no stop signs, the sheriff said.

The pickup rolled, ejecting the driver and possibly one of two passengers, Stukenholtz said. All three were taken to a Lincoln hospital, where the driver died, Stukenholtz said. He didn’t know the conditions of the other men. The sheriff wouldn’t release the names of the three men, pending notification of their families.

He said it was his understanding that all three were from Schuyler and were working on a construction project in Saunders County.

The sheriff lamented that none of them was wearing a seat restraint.

“They could have been standing there on the road watching us, had they been wearing their seat belts,” Stukenholtz said.

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