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Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

School bus hit by semi truck sliding on ice in Superior Township

By Kyle Feldscher

A school bus carrying about 20 students from the Willow Run School District was struck from behind by a semi truck sliding on ice Thursday morning in Superior Township, police said.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said the bus transporting students from Willow Run Community Schools was travelling north on Gotfredson Road at 10:50 a.m., when it stopped for the stop sign at the intersection with Geddes Road. The semi truck was traveling behind the bus and hit some ice and slid into the back of the bus, Jackson said.

There was little to no damage to the vehicles and no one was injured in the accident, Jackson said.

The crash was just one of many on Washtenaw County roads Thursday morning as drivers struggled to cope with the snowfall that began during rush hour.

Busing for Willow Run Community Schools is supplied by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s busing partnership, which also provides service for Ypsilanti Public Schools and Ann Arbor Public Schools.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Ann English

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

I had no idea that semi trucks were allowed on Gotfredson Road; but then, it is a long road, going north past Ford Road; freight routes would use such long roads. It's just that I remember that area as being very rural, with rural scenery along Gale and Vreeland Roads, six miles of unpaved Cherry Hill Road.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

To get to Ypsi and some of the factories east of Ypsi semi's use the route routinely. Just like the use Plymouth-Ann Arbor road instead of M-14. It is not unusual to see semi's on Plymouth-Ann Arbor at 70 miles per hour in the morning, even though it is a 55 mph route. They love tail gating too.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

Most of that IS dirt road. And dirt roads get dicey at best when roads go bad. Trucks unfortunately use these roads as cut thrus. Which I am surprised have not been stopped yet.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

Did the truck driver get a ticket? He sounded like he was traveling a little too close for my liking. Great to hear no injuries but scary none the less.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7:02 a.m.

It sounds to me like he barely touched the bus if there was no damage. I'm glad he was able to control the truck after hitting the ice. Could have been much worse.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

Thank you. I would fight this one. He should have. Glad to hear you and the children are a ok. I too am a driver and would be spitting mad over him not. Thanks for the update.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

I was the driver of the bus and the truck driver did not get a ticket, though he was driving a little too fast for the conditions, just glad none of the kids on my bus were injured and they were very patient through the whole thing.

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

The bus was likely travelling south on Gotfredson Road, not north as the article states.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

"The crash was just one of many on Washtenaw County roads Thursday morning as drivers struggled to cope with the snowfall that began during rush hour." WRONG. The drivers were struggling to cope with untreated, unsalted roads. As usual. And we wonder why our car insurance rates are so high in Michigan. Maybe the county and city need to start paying for the auto insurance increases we all face each year even when we have no accidents or tickets, and start paying for the car crash damages on untreated county and city roads. Maybe that would get their attention.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7 a.m.

Glad to know some people are such superior drivers according to their own assessments. I've never been in a slide related accident but I know different cars handle differently. I've had cars that would slip on nearly nothing and others than handled well. However, even with that, it is difficult to judge exactly where the ice will be and you can't drive 5 miles an hour on all streets. My sympathies to those imperfect (normal) drivers that have hit hidden ice and been in accidents. I know it must be upsetting.

Ann English

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

When I was just 3 miles from my exit on eastbound I-94 Thursday morning, I discovered that a salt truck had been ahead of me, traveling between 46-49 mph. I wasn't happy about passing it, but didn't have any more trouble driving those last 3 miles to my exit than I had following the truck. I wonder if the north-south roads were icier that morning than the east-west ones; there were two intersections along Adams Street in Ypsilanti where I had to regain traction to move again, and afterward Hamilton Street was more slippery than that. In between drives, I thought I saw a snowplow, of all vehicles, stopped by a policeman for hitting a sedan.

steve h

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

Myself and thousands of others traveling these roads had no problems. Learn to drive or get someone competent to drive you. Your solution to have the city and county pay insurance increases is absolutely ridiculous. Where does the city and county get their money?


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

While I was driving on 94 this morning the vehicle that passed me going the fastest was a semi!


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

I know the supervisor at WR. I would bet nickles to doughnuts you can get that driver ticketed. I know I would be. Good luck.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I was the Driver of the bus, and I agree the semi was traveling too fast in a neighborhood with a posted speed of 25, though on ice I was only doing about 15! Seems the semi driver would have seen a bus traveling slowly and realized it was slick!


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

I always see that too. What is it with semi drivers and ice. Ice road trucking? Who knows. Wish they too would slow down.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

If they didn't report this then there would bee 20-40 parent upset and calling to tell on the school for hiding it because their kids' bus was in an accident.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.



Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

A crash? Sounds like this was a love tap if a semi truck doesn't do any damage when it "crashes" into something else.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

The seats the children sit in are hugely padded. So if they hit the front seat? They won't be hurt as badly as if they were in a bus from the 1950's. Unpadded. Seatbelts aside, just glad no one was hurt.

Ann English

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Both semis and school buses sit higher off the pavement than sedans do. The semi would have damaged a car with an undercarriage and rear window much closer to the ground far more than it would any bus.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

A pickup did that to me at a stop sign the other day and it whipped my neck pretty good, though it was a small dent in the rear of my vehicle that wasn't that bad. But a semi hitting a bus could be a bigger issue for little kids without seat belts on.