Teens injured in school bus-truck crash

(Updated: 1:25 p.m.) A pickup truck carrying teens from the Careerline Tech Center back to school Thursday morning clipped a school bus and rolled over.
Becky Vargo
Jan 16, 2014


The incident occurred in Olive Township at 120th Avenue, just south of Croswell Street.

Police said Brian Graftema, 19, of Conklin, was the driver of the pickup truck. He tried to pass the Allendale school bus, lost control, clipped the bus, and the truck rolled over several times into a farmyard.

His back seat passenger, Tianna Bigelow, 16, of Hudsonville, was ejected from the vehicle, police said. She was taken by ambulance to Holland Hospital with serious injuries.

Graftema and his front seat passenger, Tyler Brandham, 18, of Coopersville, were also injured and were in stable condition at Holland Hospital, police said.

The Allendale bus was full of kids from the tech center at the time. No children on the bus suffered injuries, and they were transferred to another bus after the incident.

Allendale Public Schools Superintendent Dan Jonker said the students in the bus and in the pickup truck had been attending class at the Careerline Tech Center, located a few miles southwest of the crash.

The teens in the pickup truck are students at the New Options Alternative High School, Jonker said.

Their principal, Tamika Henry, is at the hospital with the families, the superintendent said. The school district's crisis team was activated as soon as they learned about the crash.

Two sheriff's cruisers were following behind the truck when the truck went to pass the bus, and deputies witnessed the incident.

The bus had to be towed, as its front hood would not close after the collision.

Stay tuned to www.grandhaventribune.com for updates on this story as they develop.



I bet the kids dad will be pissed about that nice truck, but thats what insurance is for. At least the kids are okay.

Back to the Wall

Read it again Mr. Ron.
Three kids are in the hospital, one in serious condition.
That R&R beatdown hurt your brain, or left you clueless "at best".


Kids going to CareerLine NEED to take the bus. There is already a regularly scheduled bus provided to and from CareerLine (at least most schools ... does Coopersville not provide that?). Why on earth are we allowing inexperienced drivers to be the transport for other kids. This reminds me of the car full of girls going to the Lansing ball game a few years ago. I thought the schools were going to come up with a plan keep kids from transporting kids to school events during bad weather.


"I thought the schools were going to come up with a plan keep kids from transporting kids to school events during bad weather". This maybe an option if the state would stop cutting funding to schools. And, "Joe public" would believe that the schools need money to create such an opportunity. School bus routes have been cut and as a result parents or kids must drive to school. Praying everyone is ok.


Maybe your comment would make some sense ... but it has no application in this situation. There IS a route from school to the center AND for some reason new / non-seasoned drivers appear to want to drive their own vehicle instead of the boring / lame school bus.


It's a choice, people make them everyday, Brian drives everyday for the past year an half and this is his first real issue so he probably didnt think anything of it. Tons of kids drive everyday and arrive safely.


Too bad he had to ruin a perfectly good Ford, at least scrap prices are up.

Good thing no one was seriously hurt.


Good thing none of the students were hurt. Refresh my memory, why aren't school buses equipped with seat belts?


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