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Avalanche plows into bus at train tracks
Railroad Tracks wreck1.jpg
A message stating “This Vehicle Stops At All Railroad Crossings” did not prevent a rear-end collision involving this vehicle and a public transportation bus. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

An unidentified motorist was the contributing factor in a two-vehicle collision at 11 a.m. Monday involving public transportation. 

McMinnville Police Sgt. Brad Hall says a Go Upper Cumberland bus stopped at the railroad crossing on Highway 70S in front of Warren County Sheriff’s Department, but a motorist behind the bus opted to quickly go around it. 

“The driver of the bus reported there was a vehicle behind him and when he braked to stop, it swerved to the left to pass him,” said Hall. 

That swift maneuver created what happened next, says Hall.

“The Chevy Avalanche following behind that motorist didn’t have time to stop. That car was gone but it was the contributing factor in this crash,” said Hall. “That motorist, instead of stopping for a few seconds and letting the bus go, it swerved to the left into the other lane and didn’t leave the person behind them time to stop.”  

Bus passenger Janel Elizabeth Tadesco, 70, was transported to Ascension Saint Thomas River Park with unknown injuries. 

Bus driver Dellis Potts, 62, and Avalanche driver Dakota Tate, 29, declined medical evaluation at the scene.

Tate was not issued a citation.

“It’s hard to write somebody a citation for that when both motorists have the same version of what happened,” said Hall. “If he had said ‘I just wasn’t paying attention’ then I would have considered a citation. I didn’t feel like the circumstances around this situation warranted one.”

Police officers are not required to issue anyone a citation in a motor vehicle crash.