Car hits school bus on snow-slick road

DILLSBURG — A Gifford teen was ticketed after her car rammed the rear end of a school bus on a slick highway in northern Champaign County on Tuesday morning.

Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard said none of the 13 students on board the Rantoul Township High School bus were hurt. The accident happened about 7:40 a.m. on U.S. 136 just west of County Road 2100 E.

Lillard said the school bus driver, Dennis E. Buchner, 62, of Gifford, had his yellow lights flashing and was slowing to stop to pick up a student when a Pontiac Grand Prix didn’t slow enough and slid into the back of the bus.

The driver of the car, Emily Rae King, 18, of Gifford, was treated at the scene and released. She was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid a collsion.

The crash was one of several that state troopers dealt with early Tuesday during the first bout of winter weather for this season.

“There have been 19 crashes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” Lillard said, “one with injuries that I know of.”

She reminded drivers to slow down and be more careful.

“It’s not like it’s our first winter,” she said. “Even when the roads appear clear, we can have ‘black ice.’”

Lillard said this is the second school bus accident in about a month’s time as well. The other happened on the Pesotum Road in the southern end of Champaign County.

“There are yellow lights on the bus for a reason. Those kids need to be getting to school safely,” she said.

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