Bus Hits High School Solar Panel


A bus carrying Camp Verde volleyball players to a tournament at Payson High School became wedged under the solar panels in the Wilson Dome parking lot Friday.

A bus carrying Camp Verde volleyball players to a tournament at Payson High School became wedged under the solar panels in the Wilson Dome parking lot Friday. Photo by Alexis Bechman. |

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A Camp Verde volleyball coach sat mortified Friday morning as firefighters debated how best to extricate an activity bus she had driven into a set of solar panels in Payson High School’s Wilson Dome parking lot.

The woman said she was not trying to park under the parking/solar panel structure, she was just trying to let her team of players off.

As she drove the bus around a corner, she said she didn’t notice the low overhang.

Then she heard a loud crash and the bus jarred to a stop.

The driver said she momentarily tried to back out, but thought better of the idea. Camp Verde’s white bus was thoroughly lodged.

Several panels were damaged and may need replacement.

The driver said she had only driven the bus a few times, mostly to away meets.

Payson High School hosted a volleyball invitational over the weekend with more than 24 teams competing.

On Friday, the dome parking lot was full of school buses of varying sizes.

Last year, in January, another out-of-town bus driver drove a bus into the solar panel structure. Luckily, the impact only damaged the metal frame.

At the time, administrators said they were working to get signs posted warning drivers of the low clearance. A sign was posted near the entrance, but it appears to do little to deter bus drivers during busy sporting weekends.

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