A Hoquiam school bus driver was cited for following too close after police say they rear-ended a pickup in traffic Friday afternoon. Sergeant Jeff Salstrom with the Hoquiam Police Department said that police and fire personnel were called to a collision involving two passenger vehicles and a Hoquiam School District school bus in the 500 block of Emerson Avenue at about 3:09 p.m. Friday, September 22nd.
Salstrom said arriving officers learned there were five passengers on the school bus, all middle and high school students. One of the bus passengers, a 15-year-old Hoquiam girl, complained of head and neck pain. She was treated at the scene and transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital by the Hoquiam Fire Department for further evaluation and treatment.
A 37-year-old Seattle man that was driving a 1999 Toyota pickup complained of head, back, and neck pain. He was transported to GHCH by ambulance. Salstrom said Friday night “at this time injuries are believed to be minor.”
The other students on the bus were transported by district officials to the transportation office to be picked up by their parents.
Investigators learned, based on the evidence at the scene and accounts from witnesses, that traffic had stopped on Emerson Avenue. The bus did not stop and struck the rear of the Toyota pick-up which was then pushed into the rear of a 1997 Mercury, driven by a 26-year-old Hoquiam man.
The driver of the school bus, a 40-year-old Hoquiam man, was cited for Following Too Closely. A Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer from the Washington State Patrol was also requested to respond to conduct an inspection of the school bus. This is a standard practice whenever a school bus is involved in a collision, as the WSP is in charge of school bus certification. District transportation officials also responded to the scene.