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Old 12-14-2017, 11:50 AM   #1
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Horrific school bus fire in Iowa

This accident happened in my home county.
Communities gather to mourn victims of fatal bus fire | Region | nonpareilonline.com
Not only sad, but scary as hell.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
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That is a terrible tragedy. It sounds like a tight-knit community, so that should help a bit.

Says it was diesel bus- looks like a freak accident. I don't see any other vehicle involved and was very experienced driver. I don't see him hitting a utility pole.

This will shake that small town for awhile.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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I wonder if the driver suffered a medical episode and that led to the crash. If the girl was trying to help him, that might have been why they didn't get out before the fire overwhelmed them.

Hopefully the families will get some answers in the next few weeks.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:58 PM   #4
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I wonder if the driver suffered a medical episode and that led to the crash.
That's what I am thinking also. The bus looks like it rolled into the ditch while backing-up. They mentioned he must have been older to have worked so long. Terrible.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:01 PM   #5
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That's what I am thinking also. The bus looks like it rolled into the ditch while backing-up. They mentioned he must have been older to have worked so long. Terrible.
Yeah, he was 74. Doesn't necessarily mean that was the problem but things get less predictable at that age.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:06 AM   #6
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Doesn't it look like the fire started from the driver-side rear wheels? Maybe dragging brakes there caused the tires to catch fire? That still doesn't explain why the occupants couldn't get out, unless they were incapacitated first by smoke or combustion gases. I've always wondered what fire-retardency, if any, a typical school bus's seats and interior has? I suspect that when a fire starts inside a school bus, it will spread VERY quickly.

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Old 12-15-2017, 10:53 AM   #7
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The seats and puke mats are the only things that can burn in a factory bus.

Naturally this is just conjecture, but my guess is the truck ruptured the fuel tank causing a fuel fire that engulfed the bus quickly. With the hard impact the occupants were incapacitated and weren't able to use the emergency exits.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:07 PM   #8
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school bus seats burn incredibly scary fast...
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:04 PM   #9
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That seems odd that they'd allow flammable materials in the bus when most of the interior is steel and aluminum.

Don't school kids smoke anymore?

I found a old bus with a built in ashtray today. Those were the good old days.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:12 AM   #10
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we had a substitute driver back in early 83, he used to smoke and use a styro cup with stale coffee as an ashtray.. the dude that ran that 1980 ford carpenter to its limits on the route. no one said a word about him smoking in the bus.. the kids werent allowed to.. though they did anyway when he would light up.. 10 degrees outside and the back most window on each side of the bus rolled down...

the regular driver was an old lady that was extremely strict.. she kicked kids off the bus for yelling to their friends a few rows away..
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:43 AM   #11
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we had a substitute driver back in early 83, he used to smoke and use a styro cup with stale coffee as an ashtray.. the dude that ran that 1980 ford carpenter to its limits on the route. no one said a word about him smoking in the bus.. the kids werent allowed to.. though they did anyway when he would light up.. 10 degrees outside and the back most window on each side of the bus rolled down...

the regular driver was an old lady that was extremely strict.. she kicked kids off the bus for yelling to their friends a few rows away..
-Christopher
All the rules changed in 1992 when the federal laws about CDL came into effect.

Prior to that, all sorts of things went on that would be regarded with astonishment these days.

Oklahoma, and much of the US, is rural. It wasn't unusual in smaller school districts, for High School seniors to drive the school buses. They would pick up the younger kids and keep the bus at home overnight.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #12
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back in the mid 80s I was perfectly legal driving around my bus driver's personal bus.. and driving the church bus.. I was 18 and had a "chaueffer" license which was nothing more than taking a test that said you wouldnt run over people and smnall class on evacuating passengers and break-down safety procedures...

even now in. rural districts the drivers take their busses home at night.. although under strict rules not to use them, but they do.. I see them at krogers getting groceries between their routes (even the city-schools)..

wonder if school busses are part of the ELD requirements like freight-haulers? I know some Large school districts are experimenting with GPS route tracking and planning..

idea being that dynamic signs on the busses can change the route numbers if a certain route is extra slow and needs help etc.. in essence there could be 2 "bus 4' to get a route done if another empty bus was in the area..

friend of mine sells these vehicle management systems.. they are getting more and more advanced with traffic-efficiency routing, etc.. ie school bus avoids a traffic jam due to a crash .. the software watches all of the vehicles in the fleet, the average speeds, and then also uses a WAZE and traffic-pulse API to help better routing..

have to wonder though about a screen blinging all the time to reroute a driver how safe that really is... to put a driver on roads they dont necessarily know, making turns into traffic ,etc...
-Christopher
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:35 AM   #13
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I also have seen kids get kicked off of a bus many years ago. Back then the drivers were said to have the right to kick anyone off the bus at any time, and they did. Can you imagine the lawsuites that would bring today?
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:14 PM   #14
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I also have seen kids get kicked off of a bus many years ago. Back then the drivers were said to have the right to kick anyone off the bus at any time, and they did. Can you imagine the lawsuites that would bring today?
We have 10 000 students in our district and very few incidents on buses. We have ways of ensuring that kids behave and by and large, they do.

They can be excluded from transport, but throwing them off a bus would be ridiculous. All the drivers have radios. If there is an incident requiring a student be removed, the bus would stop and someone would go get them.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:58 PM   #15
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Back then they would stop at whatever location they happened to be at and force the child to get off the bus, regardless of surroundings. They didn't have radios in buses back then and they didn't bother calling anyone about the child when they got to the end of their route. It was totally up to the child to call his parents and arrange for a ride home. This was in the '60s.

My kids were far from perfect, but I would have a strong impulse to beat that bus driver senseless if they put a child of mine off the bus in unknown territory. And no, I never got kicked off a bus.

Cameras in buses were an expensive added expense, but the camera doesn't lie. Kids frequently lie to protect themselves, but bus drivers would also lie to justify what they'd done. As I remember it the kids were just getting loud during the bus ride. Nothing to warrant putting anyone in danger.

We all run into people with control issues.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:48 PM   #16
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Oklahoma, and much of the US, is rural. It wasn't unusual in smaller school districts, for High School seniors to drive the school buses. They would pick up the younger kids and keep the bus at home overnight.
My grandpa did just that, but he was only 14, and didn't even have a license.
This was in the 1920s, and his bus was basically a stretched-out Model T. None of the farmers had time to drive, and women didn't drive, so they chose him because he lived the farthest from school and had been driving farm tractors since he was 7-8. He was paid the princely sum of $0.80 per week.


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Old 12-16-2017, 07:03 PM   #17
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Our grandparents used to carry guns to school too.
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