SIOUX CITY | Students throwing snowballs caused a two-bus accident in front of West High School that resulted in 21 injuries Tuesday, Sioux City police said.
Sgt. Brad Bollinger said a school bus leaving West High School stopped suddenly about 3:05 p.m. after students pelted the vehicle with snowballs. A city transit bus was unable to stop in time and rear-ended the school bus as it turned onto West 19th Street.
Both buses were loaded with students headed home from West High and West Middle schools.
The accident resulted in 21 injuries, Bollinger said. One student was taken by ambulance to a hospital at a parent’s request.
All the injuries were minor.
“It was mostly bumps and bruises,” Bollinger said.
Police said the bus drivers were not injured.
The accident shut down a portion of West 19th Street for about an hour while emergency crews tended to the students.
The district brought in additional buses to get the students home.
Police are still investigating the accident. The school district and Police Department's Youth Services Unit will investigate reports that snowballs were thrown at the school bus.
School spokeswoman Alison Benson said throwing snowballs at a bus would be a violation of the district’s code of conduct and that students could be punished accordingly. She did not elaborate.
According to the code of conduct, punishments could include verbal reprimand, contacting parents, detention and expulsion, among several other options.
Bollinger said he was not sure if the students could be brought up on criminal charges.
“That’s a tough question. It might be more of a school issue than a police issue,” he said.