A school bus carrying senior citizens collided with six other cars Wednesday morning along a busy South Jersey roadway. Eight people were taken to area hospitals.
The bus and cars crashed in the southbound lanes of N. Black Horse Pike (Route 168) just before the five-way intersection with Front Street and Chews Landing Road in Glendora, Camden County, N.J. around 9:30 a.m. The seniors were on their way to a day care center, according to investigators.
As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, at least three adults were put on stretchers at the scene and people were escorted off the back of the "Archway Program" bus. The yellow bus, No. 100, was carrying five seniors between the ages of 65 to 90 years old to the Lakeland Complex in Blackwood, N.J., according to Gloucester Township Police Deputy Chief David Harkins.
All the passengers on board and the driver were hospitalized. Betty St. John, 84, and Philomena Grimley, 93, were taken to Cooper Hospital and suffered non-life threatening injuries. Caroline Keels, 66, and Mildred Ordille, 88, were taken to Underwood Hospital in Woodbury for evaluation. Rose Capper was taken to John F. Kennedy Hospital in Stratford for evaluation.
The bus driver, identified as 49-year-old Gail McCoghrean, was taken to Cooper University Hospital for evaluation.
A 2000 Kia was heavily damaged from the impact. The driver, identified as 69-year-old Margaret Ghessing, had to be extricated from the car by fire crews. She was taken to Cooper Hospital in Camden and suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung. She is currently in stable condition, according to investigators.
A preliminary investigation determined that a Ford pickup truck, a 2009 Mitsubishi Galant and Kia were travelling south on the Black Horse Pike and stopped in traffic. The school bus was also travelling south when it approached the stopped vehicles and slammed into the rear of the Kia. The Kia then struck the Mitsubishi which struck the pickup truck. The collision also forced the Mitsubishi into the northbound lane where it struck a 2004 Ford Taurus driven by Antoinett Capps and a 2003 Toyota Camry driven by Michelle Low. Ladders that were detached from the pickup truck also hit a a 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Brian Malone.
N Black Horse Pike was shut down in both directions for about three hours but has been reopened. Police also blocked other connecting roads during the investigation.
Archway has programs for senior citizens as well as people with special needs. The organization has two schools in South Jersey -- a lower school on Jackson Road in Atco and the upper school in Evesham.
Archway's Chief Financial Officer Robert Posnick tells NBC10 that his school transports more than 200 students and seniors to and from nearly 60 different school districts around the area and that most of those students ride in district buses. Archway serves individuals with physical, emotional and neurological disabilities, according to the program's website.
Archway partners with Camden County to transport seniors, said Posnick.
Every school bus in New Jersey is inspected at least twice a year. Click here to see the report for buses around the state.