A 29-year-old Durango man who authorities say wasn’t paying attention while driving and swerved off the road into a ditch to avoid hitting a stopped school bus full of kids was cited with careless driving.
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said authorities were alerted around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday that a car swerved off Wildcat Canyon Road (County Road 141) near Trapper’s Crossing subdivision, rolling onto its side.
Investigators determined that at the time of the crash, a school bus was stopped with its stop sign out and lights flashing, letting kids off. Two vehicles were stopped behind the school bus, Driscoll said.
Authorities say Ryan Mallett, driving a 2000 Lexus SUV, noticed the stopped cars too late, and to avoid rear-ending the vehicles, drove into a ditch. The car rolled onto its side, Driscoll said, and Mallett suffered minor injuries.
Drugs, alcohol and excessive speed are not considered factors in the crash, Driscoll said. Instead, investigators believe Mallett was not paying attention to conditions on the road.
Driscoll said the crash Monday is a good reminder to other drivers that school is in session again, which means school buses are out.
“We want to make sure people slow down and be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “It’s that time of year again when school buses drop off kids, and we want to preach that safety message.”