Canaan woman ejected in crash with bus

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 16, 2013, at 1:39 p.m.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A Canaan woman was ejected from her vehicle after crashing into a school bus on a slippery road Wednesday morning.

Casey Rugan, 29, was traveling west on U.S. Route 2 in her 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe when she lost control of her vehicle while climbing a hill near the intersection of East Ridge Road and Eaton Mountain Road, according to Deputy Chief Dan Summers of the Skowhegan Police Department.

Rugan’s vehicle crossed into the path of an eastbound 2000 Bluebird school bus driven by Diana Dube, 56, of Fairfield. The bus belongs to SAD 54.

“It appears as though when the Tahoe lost control, the vehicle [spun 180 degrees] and was struck in the rear by the bus,” said Summers. “That spun [the Tahoe] around again and it appears the front of Tahoe went under the bus and was run over by bus. At some point during impact, Rugan was thrown from the vehicle.”

Summers said it appears that Rugan was not wearing her seat belt.

Rugan’s 1-year-old son, who was secured in a car seat in the Tahoe, was uninjured, said Summers.

The bus was transporting one 7-year-old child to Canaan Elementary School. Both the child and Dube suffered minor injuries.

Rugan was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital. A nursing supervisor said Rugan is listed in fair condition early Wednesday afternoon.

The section of U.S. Route 2 where the crash occurred was closed for 2½ to 3 hours while the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department reconstructed the crash.

Both the Tahoe and the bus were taken to separate garages where vehicle examinations will determine if either vehicle had a malfunction, said Summers.

He said speed appeared to be a factor in the crash.

“Traveling too fast for road conditions on Rugan’s part,” said Summers.

The posted speed limit on the road is 50 mph, however, that speed was too fast for the road conditions, he said.

“When you have conditions like you had this morning, 50 mph was too fast to be traveling through there. I was traveling 35 mph to respond to the scene, and it was slippery in places,” said Summers.

Rugan may be charged for not having an inspection sticker on her Tahoe, said Summers.

“I’ll have forthcoming information when the [vehicle] autopsies are done,” he said.

Summers warned drivers to take caution when driving in snowy conditions.

“The weather was very poor this morning,” Summers said. “I caution other drivers to pay attention to their speed. It doesn’t take very much snow to make a hazardous situation out there.You get used to driving on dry roads, and when the first snowstorm hits people tend to become lackadaisical.”

Skowhegan and Canaan fire departments assisted at the scene of the crash.

CORRECTION:

A previous version of this story said the bus is owned by RSU 54. The bus is owned by SAD 54.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/16/news/mid-maine/canaan-woman-ejected-in-crash-with-bus/ printed on November 1, 2014