Pickup truck driver dies after crashing into back of stopped school bus in Lapeer County, police say

Richard Gonda dies at hospital, officials say

A pickup truck crashed into the back of a school bus Oct. 9, 2019, on Bowers Road in Attica Township. (Lapeer County Sheriff's Office)

ATTICA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A pickup truck driver died Wednesday in Lapeer County after crashing into the back of a school bus that was stopped with its flashing lights on in the roadway, police said.

The crash happened at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday on Bowers Road west of Lake Pleasant Road in Attica Township, according to authorities.

A bus dropping off Imlay City Elementary School students was stopped facing east on Bowers Road, police said. The flashing red lights were activated and the stop sign on the left side of the bus was working property, according to officials.

A 2002 Ford F-150 heading east on Bowers Road crashed into the back of the bus without braking, officials said.

Richard Gonda, 64, of Attica, was driving the pickup truck, police said. He was extricated from the truck by firefighters and taken to McLaren Hospital in Lapeer, where he was pronounced dead within the hour, police said.

A student had just exited the bus before the crash and was released to a parent, authorities said. The 43-year-old bus driver and four remaining students on the bus were not injured, officials said.

Detectives don't believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. They said the speed limit is 45 mph and speed does not appear to have been a factor, either.

An autopsy at the Lapeer County Medical Examiner's Office is pending, officials said.

Bowers Road was closed between Lake Pleasant and Lake George roads for about 90 minutes for rescue and investigative purposes, according to authorities.

The crash is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office at 810-245-2449 or 810-656-1015, or email nvandenberg@lapeercounty.org or jparks@lapeercounty.org.

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