Bus driver ticketed after crash with corn truck

2010-09-27T08:24:00Z 2010-09-27T20:48:13Z Bus driver ticketed after crash with corn truckGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
September 27, 2010 8:24 am  • 

An empty school bus and a truck carrying corn collided on Kirby Road east of Shepherd Road about 7 a.m. Monday.

The bus driver, Katherine Merritt, 42, of Shepherd, was cited by the Montana Highway Patrol for driving too fast for road conditions.

Richard Pauley, 59, of Shepherd was parked facing east on Kirby Road with his hazard lights on and parking brake in place, waiting to turn into the field and pick up a load of corn when he was struck by the bus, said MHP Col. Justin Kirchheck.

Pauley refused medical attention when Highway Patrol troopers arrived, Kirchheck said.

Merritt was driving her school bus east on Kirby Road, traveling between 45 and 50 mph and told investigators the sun was in her eyes, Kirchheck said. The speed limit on that stretch of Kirby Road is 70 mph.

“She didn’t even see the corn truck until it was too late,” Kirchheck said.

Merritt swerved at the last minute and “missed getting (seriously) hurt by a few feet. She was lucky,” he said.

Merritt complained of leg pain and was driven by ambulance to Billings Clinic, where she was treated and released.

An empty school bus and a truck carrying corn collided on Kirby Road east of Shepherd Road around 7 a.m. Monday.

The bus driver, Katherine Merritt, 42, of Shepherd, was cited by the Montana Highway Patrol for driving too fast for road conditions.

Richard Pauley, 59, of Shepherd was parked facing east on Kirby Road with his hazard lights on and parking brake in place, waiting to turn into the field and pick up a load of corn when he was struck by the bus, said MHP Col. Justin Kirchheck.

Pauley refused medical attention when Highway Patrol troopers arrived, Kirchheck said.

Merritt was driving her school bus east on Kirby Road, traveling between 45 mph and 50 mph —the speed limit on that stretch of Kirby Road is 70 mph — and told investigators the sun was in her eyes, Kirchheck said.

“She didn’t even see the corn truck until it was too late,” Kirchheck said.

Merritt swerved at the last minute and “missed getting (seriously) hurt by a few feet. She was lucky,” he said.

Merritt complained of leg pain and was driven by ambulance to Billings Clinic, where she was treated and released.

A school bus and a truck carrying corn collided on Kirby Road east of Shepherd Road this morning.  No children were on the bus at the time, however the bus driver was treated for a leg injury.  Crews are on the scene cleaning up corn that spilled on the road.

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