Dubuque school bus crash: Cause unknown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque school bus crash: Cause unknown

Dubuque (KWWL) -- A morning school bus accident sent the driver to the hospital and leaves school officials baffled. A Dubuque school bus driver had already dropped off students when he tried to park. He missed his spot and went over a hill. Because of the way the bus went down the hill, officials say things could have been a lot worse for the driver and the bus.

Dubuque Community Schools Transportation officials say that's what they heard on the radio around 8:15 a.m.

"I could see the driver coming up to the back of the emergency door. I yelled down, 'are you okay?' he said, 'my chest hurts'. He sat down at that point the mechanic got him up the hill, and we sat him down on the curb until the ambulance came," Transportation Manager Vicki Kelly said.

The driver, a 68-year-old man, has been driving for Dubuque schools for four years.

"This driver has a good history, a very good history and just be handled in our normal course of events," Ron Holm said.

Once the driver got out, retrieving the bus was next.

"I got dispatched to the Dubuque Community Schools that said a bus went over the cliff there. I didn't really know what I was in for until I got over here," Chad Steve, with Burt, Steve and Son Garage, said.

It took four hours to pull the bus back to the lot. Steve said the steep slope and a ravine off to the passenger side made clean-up difficult.

"It looked pretty spooky down there for a little bit, and just had to work with it and figure out where to get positioned at to keep from rolling it over," Steve said.

Transportation officials say they do not know how or why the driver crashed.  While the accident is still under investigation, school officials say you shouldn't be worried to put your kids on the bus.

"It's still the safest student transportation around," Holm said.

There are surveillance cameras in the lot. Officials said they will review the tapes to see if they offer any insight to the crash.

The bus is a 2007 model that cost around $75,000. Officials say they are inspecting the bus and insurance will be handling repairs.

Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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