Eleven children and three adults were hospitalized Thursday morning when an out of control school bus ran a red light and crashed into an SUV and then slammed into a liquor store in Irvington, New Jersey.
The driver of the short school bus told first responders that her brakes went out and she lost control and was unable to stop the bus from careening through the intersection and burying itself in the liquor store.
Although the children, aged 3 to 11, aren’t thought to be seriously injured, medics are taking every precaution because of the seriousness of the accident.
“We take every injury seriously. The chief who evaluated them said he doesn’t think there’s any life threatening injuries. But you know, with children, they were a little banged up.”
At about 8:15 a.m., witnesses saw the bus careening along Sanford Avenue when it slammed into a Toyota Rav 4 heading east on Springfield Avenue. The SUV hit a light pole and the mini-school bus slammed into Home Liquors on Springfield Avenue, burying itself up to its windshield.
The buses’ doors were jammed closed forcing first responders to use the emergency doors and windows to get to the victims.
Nine of the children on the school bus were headed to Mount Carmel Guild Academy in West Orange; three are special needs children and the remaining two are the driver’s kids. A school bus aide was also on the bus.
They were transported to University Hospital in Newark and other area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries including leg pain and lacerations to the lower extremities.
Liquor store employees said they’ve had to shore up inside supports to keep the building up and officials have planned to examine its stability.
The school bus company, Horizon Link School, LLC in Bloomfield, was last inspected in May and had a 96 percent service failure rate on its vehicles.
School bus crashes are far too common these days.
In February, a drunken school bus driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 was arrested for drunk driving after careening through town at 70 mph and running over a mailbox in Allegany County, New York.
In March, a Pennsylvania school bus crashed into a home when the driver blacked out seriously injuring one.
In May, another drunk school bus driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.13 hit a telephone with 35 high school students on board in Cortlandt New York.