A car crash on Highway 44 — near Island Road — sent four people to the hospital Thursday, after a vehicle failed to stop for a school bus, according to town of Ripon Police Capt. Howard Stibb.
Around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Stibb says a school bus stopped near Island Road to pick up students, a semi stopped behind the bus and another car stopped behind the semi.
A fourth vehicle did not stop and rear-ended the car that was stopped behind the semi, Stibb noted.
He said neither the school bus, nor the semi were involved in the accident.
Initial police scanner reports said a semi had been involved, but once first responders arrived, they discovered it was not part of the accident, Stibb said.
The car that was hit had three female passengers from Ripon, who were transported to the hospital, he noted.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the car was not local and declined to be transported to the hospital by ambulance, but had a friend take him instead, according to Stibb.
He added that there were no serious injuries and the four individuals were evaluated for "possible injuries."
“It could have been a lot worse,” the town of Ripon police captain said, noting there were no children on the school bus at the time of the accident. “The bus had just stopped to pick up the kids.”
Stibb said the driver who caused the accident wasn’t distracted, but also “wasn’t paying close enough attention.”
He believes the accident serves as a reminder that drivers should always focus on the road and watch out for school buses, especially before and after the school day.
“It's important that you look farther down the road to see what's going on, rather than just the front of your car. There's always something that's going to be going on,” Stibb said. “You've got to stay attentive, especially at that time in the morning, and in the afternoon because you're going to have buses either picking kids up or dropping them back off at home.”