According to the California Highway Patrol, a head-on collision involving a school bus and a cattle truck left one dead and another injured on Jan. 22. The traffic accident occurred south of Hilmar on Highway 65 and Turner Avenue and the first report happened at 6:24 a.m. There were no children on the school bus during the time of the collision.
The transportation supervisor representing the Hilmar Unified School District said that the bus driver was traveling south on the highway when the cattle truck driver, who was traveling north, entered into her lane for unknown reasons. Police said the bus driver attempted to maneuver to avoid colliding with the truck but was unable to succeed.
The 33-year-old who was driving the truck died on the scene; police said he was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. The 57-year-old bus driver was flown to a hospital in Modesto, where she was treated for leg injuries. She was awake and responsive to the emergency responders before she was transported. The CHP dispatched a second hauler to the scene to remove the cattle from the truck. Four calves were also killed in the accident.
Since it is unclear what caused the truck driver to lose control of his vehicle, police might conduct an accident recreation to assist with their investigation. They might also try to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor. If the bus driver cannot return to work due to her injuries she might lose wages and could also face costly medical bills during her recovery. She might hire a personal injury lawyer to help her identify what her legal rights are and to determine if it is possible to receive a financial settlement to help with her bills.
Source: Merced Sun-Star, “One dead as school bus, cattle truck crash south of Hilmar,” Jan. 22, 2015