Bus crash witness describes helping children get out of vehicle
The driver of a car that side-swiped a small school bus suffered serious injury and three on the bus suffered minor injuries Monday morning in a crash in the Sheldon area.
The school bus ended up tipped on its side in a field and the car went off the road and struck a tree in the 10600 block of Wilton Road about 7 a.m. Monday. The driver of the car was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Michael Bradley said that the bus with special needs students, a driver and an attendant was traveling northbound on Wilton Road when a car crossed into the bus’s lane. The bus was side-swiped sending it out of control, through a wire fence and onto its side in the field.
The car continue on to sideswiped another northbound vehicle, sending that car into a ditch. The car responsible for crossing over the center line then left the road and hit a tree.
Xanthi Pinkerton, spokeswoman for the Elk Grove Unified School District, said the district bus was taking one student to Elk Grove High School and three to Joseph Kerr Middle School.
Pinkerton said the bus driver, bus attendant and one high school age student received minor injuries, which amounted to cuts and abrasions. Three other students were not visibly injured but two of them were going to the hospital as a pre-caution, along with the injured driver, attendant and high school student.
“We are very thankful that they are okay,” said Pinkerton.
Chris Long, a property owner in the area, helped get those in the bus through an escape hatch in the top of the vehicle.
“A couple of our employees come to the shop early,” said Long. “We were loading materials and getting ready to leave. We didn’t know what we heard, but we did hear a loud crash.”
The school bus had come through the fence on the perimeter of his property. The bus was on its side, which prompted Long and others into action.
“We helped the kids through the roof of the bus,” he said. He said the bus had seat belts.
Traffic backed up in the area of the crash near Grant Line Road for the crash investigation and to upright the bus and tow it away.