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3 children taken to regional trauma centers after school bus, semi collision in Chase County

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A grain truck, school bus collision late Tuesday afternoon sent three children to area trauma centers, Chase County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

The school bus and a grain truck collided southwest of Imperial near Champion just before 4 p.m., injuring several adults and students, the release said.

The semi, owned by KAK Inc. out of Champion, was traveling north on Nebraska Highway 15A. The semi struck the rear passenger side of the school bus as the school bus was turning, 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 on the property located at 32815 15A Spur.

The school bus was operated by Keith D. Cranwell, 39, of Champion. The semi was operated by Chance D. Lotspeich, 20, of Venango.

The school bus had been dropping off children after school and carried 12 students, ranging from 5 to 15 years old. All passengers and drivers were transported to the Chase County hospital with a wide range of injuries.

Three children were later transported to regional trauma centers. The Chase County Sheriff’s Office continued its investigation Wednesday with the assistance of the Nebraska State Patrol to help with the inspection of both commercial vehicles and to reconstruct the accident.

Chase County sheriff’s deputies, the Imperial Fire Department, Imperial EMS and Emergency Management responded to the scene.

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