Two school bus crashes within 24 hours on same street in Racine

racine bus crash
Posted at 9:38 AM, Sep 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-08 10:38:09-04

RACINE — The Racine Police Department is investigating two school bus crashes within 24 hours of each other. Both of the crashes were on the same street.

On Wednesday, a Racine city bus and a school bus collided around 3:30 p.m. near Shoop and Goold. On Thursday, another school bus crash occurred near Erie and Goold.

Now, Racine police are investigating whether tree branches blocked a stop sign, causing a First Student school bus to crash into a city bus.

racine bus crash

"It could be a contributing factor," Kristi Wilcox with the Racine Police Department said. "That definitely needs to be taken into consideration."

A neighbor, Rachael Drenkhahn, says she saw city workers trim the tree Thursday morning.

"Before they trimmed the trees this morning, you couldn't see the top of the (stop) sign at all," she shared.

You can see video of the stop sign from Wednesday's crash. It may have been the vantage point of the 61-year-old school bus driver, who has four years on the job.

Ring camera: School bus vs city bus in Racine

Drenkhahn says the overgrown tree has been an ongoing problem.

"Oh yes, all the people around this area have complained," she said.

District Alderman Maurice Horton says his office did not receive any complaints before the crash.

Racine police say nine people in total were involved in Wednesday's crash. Seven were on the city bus and two were on the school bus. None were students. The 41-year-old city bus driver is in serious condition.

According to police, there was at least one student involved in Thursday's bus crash. It happened around noon. Surveillance footage shows the bus driver had a stop sign. The other involved vehicle, a truck, did not. Police did not have information about the condition of anyone involved.

A spokesperson for First Student bus company said that both crashes are under review, rare, and not indicative of the service they provide. First Student says every driver behind the wheel of their 130 buses in Racine constantly receives training, and their driving is monitored daily.

Police say the ultimate cause of both crashes is under investigation and no one has been ticketed.