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Wintry mess makes it difficult for bus drivers to get students to school

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 11 2013 04:58:24 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 11 2013 05:06:05 PM MST

Last night's wintry storm made it difficult for drivers as ice and snow cause slide-outs all over Bozeman.

BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Thursday night's winter storm made it difficult for drivers as ice and snow caused slide-outs all over Bozeman. Drivers had to keep more distance between other cars today when making stops.

NBC Montana wanted to know how bus drivers across the city were getting students to school in these tricky conditions.

Drivers of the First Student bus company said they make sure Bozeman's kids get to school safely.

The icy mix made for difficult and dangerous driving conditions. Many parents called the bus company and asked if bus service would be delayed.

Stacy Roberts of the First Student bus company told NBC Montana some roads were so bad parents called her office and asked drivers not to pick up their kids.

"Usually our buses can get to most stops and today we did have a few where they didn't go because parents called us and said don't come this way," explained Roberts.

We wanted to know how safe the buses were in the snow and ice. NBC Montana spoke to Mike Samples who is a First Student mechanic. "The buses themselves do work very well in the snow," said Samples.

We asked Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin about the road conditions.  Gootkin had a strong message for drivers urging them to slow down especially, when it comes to school buses.

"When the weather is like that the buses are obviously driving slow. Don't go around them. Don't do anything to jeopardize the way they are driving," Gootkin said.

Up to 30 weather-related car accidents were reported Thursday night in Gallatin County.