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Portales school bus collides with tractor-trailer

Five students treated, released; bus driver being treated at RGH

One Portales school student suffered “some fractures” and was hospitalized in Lubbock until Thursday afternoon, but others injured in a Wednesday morning bus crash were treated for minor injuries and released by Wednesday night, officials said.

The bus collided with an 18-wheeler northwest of Portales about 7:30 a.m.

State Police Public Relations Officer Wilson Silver said it appears the school bus failed to yield at an intersection and was struck by a tractor-trailer carrying a full load of corn traveling west on State Road 236.

The student with the broken bones is an elementary school girl, Portales schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain said.

Cain said the child sustained injuries to her arm and ankle.

“She went home Thursday afternoon and she’s doing fine,” Cain said Friday.

State Police said 17 students, between the ages of 6 and 15, were on the bus.

“Some students and the (bus) driver were transported to the hospital for some stitches and observation,” Cain said. A police news release said the truck driver, 28, also was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Most of the students on the bus were picked up by their parents, Cain said.

The accident occurred on State Road 236, what is known locally as Bethel Highway, at its intersection with South Roosevelt Road T.

Silver said no citations had been issued through Thursday as the crash is still under investigation.

Silver said since neither driver was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, neither was administered a blood-alcohol test.

Kaycee May had two children on the bus, her 6-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son.

She learned of the wreck from Michael Terry, who manages the school system’s bus barn, and immediately went to the scene.

“Just seeing the bus and the semi there, my heart dropped to my stomach,” May said. “I couldn’t get out of my car and to the scene of the wreck fast enough.”

May said her children were sitting in the back seat of a first responder’s truck.

May said her daughter was fine, “just a little shaken up.”

She said her son was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

May said the boy’s biggest concern was if the concussion would affect his reading ability.

“It was all more than a little nerve-racking,” May said. “I can’t put it into words.”

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