IMPERIAL - Three children were seriously injured when the school bus they were riding in collided with a semi-tractor-trailer in Chase County at 3:57 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

The Chase County Sheriff's office says a 2020 Integrated CES bus, owned by Chase County schools and driven by Keith Cranwell, 39, of Champion, attempted to make a left hand turn off Highway 15A onto 736 Road near Champion when the crash happened with a northbound 1992 Peterbilt semi-tractor pulling a fully loaded grain trailer. 

The semi-tractor-trailer, owned by KAK Inc. of Champion and driven by Chance Lotspeich, 20 or Venango, impacted the rear passenger side of the school bus, causing the bus to rotate 90 degrees and overturn onto the driver's side. The semi-tractor-trailer continued north a short distance before leaving the roadway, crossing a ditch and coming to rest on a property at 32815 15 A Spur. 

According to authorities, 11 students - ranging in ages from 6- to 15-years old - and the driver were on the bus, being dropped off after school, at the time of the accident. All passengers and the driver were transported to the Chase County hospital. Three children were later transported to regional trauma center. 

The accident remains under investigation.

Champion is located just over seven miles southwest of Imperial 

Chase County Sheriff's Deputies, the Imperial fire department, Imperial EMS and Emergency Management responded to the scene. The Nebraska State Patrol is assisting with the investigation.