Crisis averted after bus crashes into barrier on Interstate 35

(Above) A charter bus rests against a cable barrier on Interstate 35 Saturday night. -Photo by CLFD

by Marianne Gasaway

A charter bus carrying a college basketball team back from central Iowa toward Wisconsin was involved in an accident on Interstate 35 near Clear Lake Saturday night.

The Clear Lake Fire Department responded to the scene of the bus crash at mile marker 191 south of Clear Lake around 7:30 p.m.

The cable barrier safety system is being credited with preventing the bus from going off the interstate.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, ice likely caused the bus to leave the roadway, travel into the median, and hit the guard wires.  The south-bound lanes of the Interstate were closed for a short period of time following the accident.

Two of the 25 passengers in the bus were injured and were treated.  One was transported to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa by the Mason City Fire Department with non-life threatening injuries.

Clear Lake volunteer firefighters Shawn Puttmann and Richie Ellis, who are also teachers and coaches at Clear Lake Schools, were allowed  to bring a school bus to the scene to transport the passengers from the damaged bus to the Best Western in Clear Lake.  The team spent the night in Clear Lake before continuing their travel to play at Central College in Pella on Saturday afternoon.

“We would like to thank the Clear Lake

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