Nebraska county official apologizes for tossing rake at bus
May. 17, 2018
MCCOOK, Neb. (AP) — A southwest Nebraska county commissioner who is also a road crew member has apologized for tossing a sharp rake in front of a school bus carrying nearly a dozen children.
Red Willow County Commissioner Earl McNutt said he and two county workers had been patching an asphalt road in McCook last week when he grew frustrated by speeding vehicles.
"In frustration, I made a mistake, and I slid a rake across the road in front of the bus," said McNutt, who has served on the county's board for 20 years.
The bus tires ran over the rake's handle instead of the tines, said McNutt.
"I can't fathom why it happened," he said. "I shouldn't have let the pressure of the public get to me."
McCook Public Schools Superintendent Grant Norgaard said no one was injured in the May 10 incident and there's no damage to the bus.
There's also no evidence that the bus driver was speeding, Norgaard said.
"The bus driver said she slowed down as she approached the road crew," he said.
Warning signs weren't marking the area where McNutt's crew worked last week, said Jacque Riener, commissioner in charge of the District 3 road crew.
County road crews will carry more warning signs following the incident, Riener said.
Norgaard reported the incident to County Sheriff Alan Kotschwar, who plans to talk Friday with County Attorney Paul Wood about potential charges.
"We don't know what laws, if any, were broken," Norgaard said. "We're glad no one was injured."
Indianola Resident Larry Randolph said he's upset charges haven't been filed against McNutt.
"How would you feel if your kids were on that bus?" he said.