Authorities say that a Blue Hill Community District school bus and a semi truck collided Wednesday evening near County Road "R" and 1800 Road, resulting in four deaths, and several injuries to passengers.
"Travis Witte, 21, of Blue Hill, the driver of the semi, Marla Wentworth, age 59, of Red Cloud, they were the drivers, she was the driver of the school bus, and then two residents riding on the bus, Dustin Tesdahl, age 18 of Blue Hill, and Caroline Thallman, age 10, of Blue Hill, were all killed in the crash," said Webster County Attorney Sara Bockstadter in an official statement delivered Thursday afternoon.
Five other students on the bus ranging in age from 6 to 10 were transported to area hospitals.
A 6-year old female and 7-year old male student were treated and released.
A 10-year old male student and an 8-year old female student were admitted to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, and a 7-year old female student was flown by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital in Omaha.
On Thursday, the Blue Hill Community Schools mourned their losses. Additional staff were on hand to assist those trying to cope with the news.
"We did bring in lots of professional help. We've gotten lots of assistance from neighboring school districts that have helped provide counselors and a crisis team, as well as our own crisis team here at school. We also have some community volunteers who are very qualified who've come in and helped us deal with students and teachers as we move through this tragedy and this difficult situation," Blue Hill Community Schools Superintendent Joe'l Ruybalid said.