SUV collides with school bus at Hwy. 40 and 48

A sport utility vehicle collided with a school bus at the junction of Highways 40 and 48 near Exeland Thursday evening, Sept. 10. The driver of the SUV was killed. Four students on the bus were medically evaluated and the bus driver was taken to a local hospital.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office has released details of a crash between a sport utility vehicle and a school bus Thursday evening, Sept. 10, at the junction of Hwys. 40 and 48 near Exeland.

The driver of the SUV, Renee C. Balko, 40, of Bruce was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Doug Mrotek said that at 6:34 p.m. on Thursday, the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a two-vehicle crash involving a school bus and an SUV at the junction of Hwys. 40 and 48 in the town of Weirgor, approximately two miles east of Exeland.

Sheriff’s deputies along with Sawyer County EMS, fire departments from Exeland, Radisson and Winter, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Sawyer County Highway Department responded to the scene.

The initial investigation indicates that Sherrie L. Mataczynski, 54, of Exeland was northbound on Hwy. 40, driving a 2015 Bruce School District bus. The bus failed to yield the right of way when making a left turn onto Hwy. 48 and collided head on with a 2007 Dodge Nitro operated by Balko.

Balko sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. Mataczynski was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. The extent of her injuries is not known at this time, Mrotek said.

The four students on the bus, two of whom had minor injuries, were treated at the scene and released to their parents or guardians.

The crash remains under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol, Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office, and Sawyer County coroner’s office.

On their Facebook page, the Bruce School District said that the bus involved in the accident was a late bus for athletic participants.

The district said four students on the bus were medically evaluated and are under parent or guardian care.

The school district stated that, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the driver of the other vehicle. We are deeply concerned for each of the families involved. Bruce School District is cooperating with law enforcement’s investigation.”

Both the SUV and the bus sustained severe damages.

The Bruce School District stated that a late bus for athletics was involved in a crash Thursday evening Sept. 10 at the junction of State Highways 40 and 48 and County Road D in Sawyer County.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, the head-on crash took place just before 7 p.m. near the Village of Exeland. The crash closed traffic lanes in both directions on Hwy. 40 for several hours.

The Bruce School District stated that four students on the bus were medically evaluated and are under parent or guardian care. The bus driver was taken to a local hospital.

The driver of the sport utility vehicle that collided with the bus died.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the driver of the other vehicle," the school district said. "We are deeply concerned for each of the families involved. Bruce School District is cooperating with law enforcement’s investigation.”

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