DIXMONT, Maine — A woman and her 8-year-old son suffered minor injuries when the Jeep she was driving rear-ended an RSU 19 school bus carrying 13 students home from school Monday afternoon, police said.
The collision occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m.
“The sun at that time of the day was just terrible as far as glare and brightness,” said Deputy James Kennedy, one of three Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department deputies who responded to the scene of the accident. “I got there at 10 minutes of 4 and even then it was tough, visibility-wise.”
Kennedy said neither the female bus driver nor any of the 13 students on board the bus were injured in the accident, which totaled the 2000 Jeep Cherokee driven by Catherine Bagley, 23, of Unity and left the bus with minor damage to its bumper and tail pipe.
“The bus had just dropped off a couple kids at a house and was just taking off again, and the Jeep came up behind and rear-ended it,” Kennedy said.
The accident occurred on Western Avenue near the intersection with the Jewell Road in Dixmont, about a half-mile from the Waldo County line.
The driver and her son were taken by Capital Ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. Bagley complained of back pain and her son had possible “seatbelt burn,” according to Kennedy.
Kennedy said he was unable to interview Bagley right after the accident because she was being treated at the scene, but he said he doesn’t expect any charges to be filed.
The bus was driven back to the school bus lot in Newport and the Jeep was towed from the scene.
“There was extensive damage to the front end, and the Jeep was a total loss,” Kennedy said.
The students, who were being bused from Nokomis High School in Newport and the Etna-Dixmont School in Etna, were transferred to another bus to be taken to their homes.
Dixmont Fire and Rescue also responded to the scene. Emergency personnel did not require extrication equipment to help Bagley and her son from the Jeep, according to Kennedy.