Woman killed after station wagon hits school bus

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 86-year-old woman was killed Monday after her station wagon collided with a Rockford Public Schools bus.

The school bus was headed west on Cannonsburg Road NE near Dun Robin Drive in Cannon Township. It turned left into the path of an eastbound station wagon, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department says, and the station wagon hit the bus.

The driver of the station wagon, 86-year-old Ione Potter of Cannonsburg, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She was later pronounced dead.

The bus was taking Cannonsburg Elementary students home, according to Rockford Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler. The crash happened less than two miles from the school.

The assistant superintendent was notified of the crash at about 4 p.m.

There were about 10 students on the bus at the time of the crash, but none of them were hurt. Parents were called to the scene to pick up their children.

Neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the crash, the sheriff’s department says.

Kent County Undersheriff Jon Hess told 24 Hour News 8 the department is still investigating and should be done in a couple of weeks. At that point, authorities will determine whether it is appropriate to cite or prosecute the bus driver.

Hess did not disclose the driver’s name because that person has not yet been interviewed.

Shibler said Tuesday the bus driver involved is not currently on behind the wheel. The district is waiting on the sheriff’s department’s report before taking any further action. Transportation officials say the driver has been on the job for a long time and has a clean record.

Shibler said counselors would be available to students starting Tuesday.

“Just to make sure that we take care of any emotional needs that [the students] may have, we’re going to have a school psychologist on hand,” Shibler told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Monday night.

“Certainly my sincere sympathies and condolences go out to the victim’s family,” Shibler went on to say.

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