It was a Monday morning in October, and things were running normally around our place. It was a school day but we were also shipping a couple of Hogs off to the slaughterhouse for our use and picking up some others for local families. My Uncle Len would be doing all the pickup with our 10-ton stock truck, and for a change, I did not have to help and could catch the school bus. Len loaded at our place and then went next door to his place, and I just happened to be passing his driveway as he was pulling out. To save the three-mile walk to the bus stop, I hopped in with Len and helped him load at Hermans and Charlies, and then he dropped me at the store, where four other kids catch the bus.
The bus trip went as normal until we came down the 9th concession, passed the slaughterhouse, and turned on the side road to the highway. Now this was a turn from a narrow road onto another narrow road, and the bus was a 48-passenger model, so it had to swing wide to make this corner, and then the road went uphill in a “C” configuration to the highway about 100 yards away.
Unknown to us on the bus, Len had just turned off the highway to the slaughterhouse and was starting down blind as trees along both sides of the road blocked visibility. I guess Len and Harry saw each other at the same time, and both reacted by hitting the brakes. Now, this worked on the bus 3/4 of the way around the corner, but it had a much different effect on Len. This road was or had been, gravel over a clay base, but over the years, the gravel had washed away, so Len was on wet leaves over wet clay, and when he hit the brakes, he said it felt like a skating rink. Instead of slowing down, the truck picked up speed. Now things went really bad. As Len was sliding toward the bus, the right front wheel hit some gravel and almost stopped, but the rest of the truck kept going, and Len was now sideways in the road. Next, the left front bumper and fender hit the bus spinning the truck again, so now it was backwards, and the truck and bus merged side to side. Finally, the truck bumper hit the rear wheel well of the bus spinning the truck, so now it was back on to the bus and crossing the road. Finally, things came to a halt. I was sitting in the third seat behind the driver on the aisle side, so I had a good view of all this, and I saw Len getting bounced around pretty badly.
After disentangling myself from the young lady, I had been sitting with, I made my way to the front and had Harry open the doors so I could get out and get Len out of the truck. The door to the truck was difficult, but I managed to get it open to find Len slumped over the wheel and unconscious. Len sort of came to as I dragged him out, and then a couple of the bigger guys took him from me and crossed the road to a clump of cedars while I grabbed the First Aid kit. Len had one good cut on his forehead and several glass cuts on his arms, but he woke up and seemed okay. One of our guys ran back to the slaughterhouse and called the OPP, Ambulance and bus company.
When the OPP and others arrived, Len was taken to the hospital, and the kids were taken on another bus to school, but because it was our truck, I stayed until the Cops cut me loose. Then, I wiggled the truck out of the mess up, checked it, and got the OPP’s permission to take it to the slaughterhouse. The accident only made a few lines in the local paper, but it got its own page in the yearbook that year as the Great Piggy Bus Event.