Children in Gardnerville bus collision released from hospital
GARDNERVILLE – Three children taken to a Reno medical center after a school bus accident Thursday have been released from the hospital.
Hunter Hughes, 3, Dallas Hughes, 7, and Simon Dewit, 9, were home, according to the Hugheses’ grandmother, Ann Geary.
Geary said both Hughes boys had to undergo reconstructive surgery over the weekend and that the injuries were much more serious than previously reported.
Glass had to be removed from the children’s faces.
Kristine Hughes was turning left to get gas at the Riverview 7-Eleven when a school bus driven by Louis Bergandi struck the drivers’ side of her Ford Excursion.
Bergandi was transporting a bus load of children from Topaz Ranch Estates to Minden Elementary School.
Hughes was taking six children to Scarselli Elementary School.
An initial investigation into the accident revealed that Bergandi failed to stop at the traffic signal.
No citation has been issued, and the Nevada Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation, which will be forwarded to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office which will make a decision on whether a citation will be issued.
Community Development Director Mitch Dion confirmed that the warning light, which the county maintains for the state south of the intersection, was out. It was repaired on Friday.
Several witnesses have called to say the light was not working at the time the school bus driven by Bergandi went through the traffic signal.
Dion encouraged anyone who sees a malfunctioning light to call 782-9035.
Geary said she’s not buying the malfunctioning warning light as an excuse in the accident.
“What sort of a person flies up to an intersection when the light turns yellow and goes through it?” she asked. “You can’t depend on caution lights.”
She said the Hughes family had paid off the vehicle and was building a new home.
“This was very devastating to them,” she said. “We haven’t had anyone from the school district call and inquire about the children.”