Neola, IA School Bus Accident, Aug 1976


Neola, Iowa (AP) - Investigators were at a loss Saturday to explain the crash of a school bus that killed three children and injured at least 33 riders.
Two 8-year-olds and a 12-year-old died Friday afternoon when the bus hit an abutment on Iowa 191, jumped a guard rail and turned over on its roof, dangling 15 feet above a creek.
Highway Patrolman Don Nelsen said an interview with the bus driver CAROLYN JEANNETTE JAMES, 39, shed no light on the cause of the accident.
"She gave us no insight as to what may have caused the accident. We will continue to investigate different avenues," he said.
The driver's daughter was one of those killed.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and a special research engineering team from Ann Arbor, Mich., were called to investigate the crash.
Nelsen said he did not expect a preliminary report on the accident for at least a week.
He said reports by survivors that the bus driver was distracted at the time of the accident are "to my knowledge absolutely untrue." Nelsen said MRS. JAMES was in "pretty good condition considering the situation," when he talked with her. She remained hospitalized in fair condition Saturday.
Her daughter, PAGE, 8; JIM GILBRAITH, 8, and ROBBIE HOOD, 12, died in the wreck.

Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1976-08-08