NBCPhiladelphia.com - Claudia Rivero
Students from Smithville Elementary School in Galloway Township, NJ say there was glass everywhere when their school bus and an SUV collided on Thursday afternoon. The accident happened at the intersection of Moss Mill Road and Old Port Road. The crash sent 18 (originally reported as 21) children to the hospital. The driver of the SUV was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital. None of the students' injuries were life-threatening, according to Police. NBC10's Claudia Rivero talked to students who were on the bus, as well as parents who are thankful their children weren't critically injured.
A school bus and an SUV collided in Atlantic County Thursday leaving 18 students and the driver of the SUV injured, according to Galloway Township Police.
The T-bone wreck happened just after 3:30 p.m. on Old Republic and Moss Mill Roads in Smithville, N.J. while the bus was making a left turn, according to witnesses at the scene.
School administrators say that 30 students -- ranging from kindergartners to sixth graders -- from Smithville Elementary School (the school is located on Old Republic Road) were on the bus at the time of the crash. Authorities on the scene say that all the kids were accounted for and that the 18 injured kids didn't suffer life-threatening injuries.
Fifteen injured students were taken to AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus and three were taken to the Atlantic City Campus -- most had injuries like bloody noses, bumps and bruises, according to a hospital spokesman.
The driver of the SUV Peter Walker, 50, of Galloway was medivaced from the scene with serious injuries, according to investigators.
Investigators say the driver of the bus, 21-year-old Jennifer McDonald of Egg Harbor, was traveling north on Old Port Road and stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Moss Mill Road. Police say McDonald attempted to make a left turn onto Moss Mill Road when her bus collided with a 1997 Ford Explorer driven by Walker.
The hood on the silver SUV was crushed in and it came to rest on the left side of the yellow bus. A large section of the bottom left side of the bus was severely dented in.
Students described the frightening moment when their school bus and the SUV collided.
"We were going and all of the sudden there;s this big crash and we see glass everywhere," Carlos Rivera, a third grader, told NBC10.
Parents expressed their relief that none of the students were seriously injured.
"I am so happy that none of them were in critical condition, it could have been worse," Jackie D'Ambrosio said.
The bus is owned by Integrity Bus, according to investigators.
This is the latest in a recent string of bus crashes. Back in February one child was killed and others were seriously injured when their school bus collided with a dump truck in Chesterfield, N.J.
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