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Slippery roads cause woes for four school buses

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 3:56 p.m. CDT
A Forrestville Valley school bus went into the ditch Thursday morning on Lightsville Road. No one was injured. Photo courtesy of the Ogle County Sheriff's Department.
A Forrestville Valley school bus went into the ditch Thusday morning. No one was injured. Here, a road grader from Maryland Township gets ready to pull the bus out of the ditch. Photo courtesy of the Ogle County Sheriff's Department.

School started a little later than expected Thursday for students on four buses in western Ogle County.

Icy gravel roads put a Forrestville Valley bus in a snow-filled ditch, while further south three Polo buses found themselves going nowhere due to the lack of traction.

The Forrestville Valley bus was carrying 45 elementary, junior high, and high school students when it slipped off the ice-coated gravel surface around 7:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of West Lightsville Road approximately six miles northeast of Forreston.

Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn, who was the first responder at the scene, said the students were shaken up but unharmed.

Interim Superintendent Jane Eichman said the students were transferred to another bus that transported them on to school.

Harn said Leaf River Township Road Commissioner Anthony Peterson spread a truckload of gravel at the scene, and Maryland Township Road Commissioner Stu Meyers used a road grader to pull the bus back onto the roadway.

Meanwhile, Polo buses were having their own problems getting around after an icy mix of precipitation coated roads in the early morning hours.

Police Chief Dennis Christen said that while none of the buses slipped off the roadways, the roads were so slick that travel became impossible, especially as the drivers attempted to negotiate hills and intersections.

One bus became immobilized on Valentine Road between Canada and Oregon Trail Roads approximately five miles northeast of Polo.

A few miles away, another lost traction trying to make a turn at Summerhill and Canada Roads, and the third couldn't climb a hill on West Branch Road north of Ill. 64.

Christen said the township road commissioners assisted by spreading gravel.

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