Vechta, the town where I currently teach at the local university, made the national news today. But unfortunately for a sad reason, because a schoolbus carrying students to Vechta’s secondary schools crashed into a tree. Thankfully no one died, but 17 children and teenagers were injured and eight of them are in critical condition. The local paper Oldenburger Volkszeitung has more.
The accident didn’t happen on the road I normally take, so I’m not familiar with the site. However, there are plenty of narrow country roads around Vechta, some of which get a lot of traffic, particularly during harvest time (the sugar beet harvest is currently messing up traffic in rural areas all over Lower Saxony) and when the nearby highway A1 is suffering from congestion. And there are a lot of traffic jams on the A1 between Bremen and Osnabrück at the moment, largely because of construction work which keeps causing accidents and obstructions on the highway. As a result, a lot of the traffic that would normally travel along highway A1 spills out into the surrounding small country roads. And sometimes those narrow roads can be a tight fit, particularly when two large vehicles like trucks, tractors or busses meet on a narrow stretch of road.
I’m not saying that this is what happened here, since the police is still investigating. But given what I have experienced driving along those country roads, it’s a likely scenario.