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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

"The First Amendment gives everyone -- including nuts -- free speech,
but free speech has a purpose: that the people may judge for themselves
and bury the nuts with indignation. We fail our founding fathers if we
let blowhards rage on talk radio, in little magazines and in nasty
books without delivering counterattacks.

   -- Barron's, Aug. 9, 2004 (Thanks to alert WORDster John Mollwitz)

LTD bus crashes into power pole

By Kimberly Ralphs and Hard News Cafe staff

March 19, 2004 | LOGAN -- An LTD bus hit a power pole Friday morning, knocking out power in two homes, but no one was hurt and the only damage was to the bus and the pole.

The bus was traveling east on 200 North between 300 and 400 West shortly before 7 a.m. when it swerved and hit a pothole, causing it to go off the road and hit a power pole on the south side of the road, according to the accident report. The pole dragged along the roof of the bus until the driver got the bus back on the road.

There were no passengers on the bus, but Ron Bushman, Logan transit manager, said even if there had been, they probably wouldn't have been hurt.

"The bus didn't really jolt that much," Bushman said.

There is no visible damage to surrounding property and the power pole has been replaced.

"Fortunately, we didn't hit the trees," Bushman said. "We are glad that there were no passengers in the bus to be hurt, damages were only done to ourselves."

The bus driver, Stuart Warren Landerman, 25, Logan, was cited for negligent collision.

Bushman said the Logan Transit District (LTD) has a very low accident rate and said there have only been three accidents involving LTD buses in the past year. He said those are usually caused when other vehicles hit the buses.

"It's very rare that LTD buses get in accidents," Bushman said.

Logan Power and Light arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after the accident to begin repairs, said spokesman Lyle Powell. He said the downed pole was replaced and power restored to the homes within three hours.

"The power crews were right on it," Bushman said.

Powell said only two houses lost power because the poles on either side of the damaged one suspended it. He said the power crews were able to untie the wires from the damaged pole without turning the power off.

"We changed the pole out hot, we didn't need to kill it (the power) while we worked on it," Powell said.

Powell said nearby trees smoked a little bit after the accident.

In addition to the police investigation, the accident will be investigated by a review committee of Laidlaw Transit Services, the company that contracts drivers for the LTD and other transit systems across the country. Bushman said Laidlaw hires drivers, mechanics, and service workers for 4,000-5,000 buses across the country.

Suzy Dooley, who lives at 364 W. 200 North, said she didn't see the accident but her husband saw a spark when the bus hit the pole.

By early afternoon, the power company had everything repaired except a street light that still needs to be replaced. Powell estimated repairs will end up costing $2,000 to $2,500.

Powell said Friday morning's accident was the second one like it this week. Thursday, a man took out a pole on 400 West. He said accidents taking out power poles only happen four or five times a year, so having two downed power poles in two days is very unusual.

When asked if the accident changed her opinion of the LTD, Amy Stevens, who rides the bus to school at Utah State University every day said, "I always feel pretty safe riding the bus, I'm still going to ride."

Bushman said the LTD was started in March 1992 and runs 12 to 13 buses every day.

--Hard News Cafe reporters Doan Nguyen, Kelli Dodgen, Diana Taylor and Charlotte Smith also contributed to this story.



Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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