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Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2008

Police: Bus driver ‘not paying attention’ in crash

June 26, 2008

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— A man driving a pickup truck was killed south of Guthrie, Okla., Saturday on Interstate 35 after a collision with a bus carrying College Church of the Nazarene members to a mission trip in Arlington, Texas.

Chris West of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Tuesday that the man driving the truck had just purchased the 1962 Ford pickup in northern Oklahoma and was driving home when the collision occurred about 2 p.m.

West said the bus driver was traveling at about 70 mph and the driver of the truck was traveling about 50 or 55 mph.

"We believe the bus driver was daydreaming, not paying attention and was rapidly gaining on the truck..." he said. "At the last minute, (the bus driver) braked and swerved to the right but hit the pickup truck, knocked it off the roadway rolling a couple of times, ejected the driver and killed him."

West said no one on the bus was injured.

The trip is the church's annual weeklong mission trip for its junior high school-aged members.

A church member said the Rev. David Graves, senior pastor, asked the congregation Sunday morning to pray for the family of the man who was killed, for the driver of the chartered bus and for the junior high school students and trip sponsors who were shaken up but elected to continue with the trip.

The students and sponsors are scheduled to return from the trip this Saturday. Calls to the church Monday and Tuesday seeking comment were not returned.

West said state law allows the highway patrol to take a blood sample after a traffic fatality to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved. He said the results from bus driver's test will take some time to analyze.

A spokeswoman with the Logan County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday that they are still awaiting the accident report, and that no charges against the bus driver have been filed.

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