Chase County Crash Involving School Bus
On Tuesday, September 27th, 2022, around 3:57 PM, the Chase County Sheriff's Office received an emergency 911 call reporting a school bus rollover accident involving a semi-tractor trailer on state highway 15A and 736 road South West of Imperial near Champion NE. Chase County Sheriff's Deputies, the Imperial fire department, Imperial EMS and Emergency Management responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation indicated the school bus, a 2020 Integrated CES owned by Chase County Schools, attempted to make a left hand turn when it collided with a 1992 Peterbilt Semi pulling a fully loaded grain trailer. The semi is owned by KAK Inc. out of Champion Nebraska and was traveling northbound on highway 15A. The semi impacted the rear passenger side of the school bus, causing the bus to rotate 90 degrees and overturn onto its driver's side. After striking the bus, the semi continued north a short distance before leaving the roadway, crossing the ditch, and coming to rest onto the property located at 32815 15 A spur. The school bus was operated by 39 year old Keith D. Cranwell of Champion. The semi was operated at the time by 20 year old Chance D. Lotspeich of Venango, NE.
The school bus had been in the process of dropping children off after school and carried 11 students on board, ranging in ages from 6 to 15 years old. All passengers and drivers were transported to the Chase County hospital with a wide range of injuries. 3 children were later transported to regional trauma centers. The Chase County Sheriff's Office is still in the preliminary stage of the investigation and has requested the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol to help with the inspection of both commercial vehicles and to reconstruct the accident.