All 13 occupants of a charter-style bus were taken by ambulance to local hospitals after the driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle on icy conditions while heading northbound on Interstate 29.
Two of the passengers were airlifted to hospitals in Sioux City, Iowa in critical but stable conditions, according to Vermillion Fire/EMS Department Chief Matt Callahan.
“We got called this morning about 8:45 a.m. (to provide) mutual aid to the Elk Point Fire Department for a bus that had rolled over with multiple people hurt,” the Vermillion chief said. “We responded out there with two chiefs, a heavy rescue unit and three ambulances.
“Elk Point was there; they had their heavy rescue unit there along with an ambulance,” Callahan said. “Also, the North Sioux City ambulance came and assisted along with Mercy Air Helicopter and Queen’s Air Rescue Helicopter.”
He said it appeared that the bus went off the roadway and rolled over on its side at approximately the mile 23 marker on Interstate 29. The bus was heading north and it ended up on its side in the east ditch.
“It was a charter-type of bus. There were 13 people on board, including the driver,” Callahan said. “Two people were airlifted to hospitals in Sioux City and the rest were transported to Sanford Vermillion.”
The 11 people taken to Sanford Vermillion had “a variety of injuries, from bumps and bruises to pain from the accident,” he said. All of the ground ambulances that responded were able to take the 11 passengers to the Vermillion hospital.
“Because of the types of injuries they had, we were able to transport everybody in one trip with those ambulances,” Callahan said.
First responders were able to get the injured out of the bus without using any special extraction equipment, such as the Jaws of Life.
“The bus itself stayed intact pretty well,” Callahan said. “We were able to remove all of the subjects out of the front window.”