Canterbury school bus crash sent 34 students, drivers to hospita - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Canterbury school bus crash sent 34 students, drivers to hospital

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Injuries were reported in a crash involving a school bus in Canterbury on Tuesday morning. (WFSB photo) Injuries were reported in a crash involving a school bus in Canterbury on Tuesday morning. (WFSB photo)
A person in this car suffered serious injuries after a crash with a bus in Colchester. (WFSB photo) A person in this car suffered serious injuries after a crash with a bus in Colchester. (WFSB photo)
CANTERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Two drivers and 34 students were sent to the hospital after a crash involving a school bus in Canterbury on Tuesday morning.

The crash, which involved a school bus and a 2014 Cadillac ATS Luxury, happened on South Canterbury Road around 6:30 a.m. 

Canterbury First Selectman Roy Piper said he responded to the scene and helped officials by stopping traffic.

"The scene was not chaotic, it was very calm," Piper said. "The fire department got here, state police got here. Everybody started doing their job. My job initially was just to shut the road down in both directions and keep traffic from coming through the scene area."

For more photos of the scene, click here.

State police reported entrapment and four ambulances were sent to the scene. Originally, five students reported to police suffering "minor injures."

"When it got toned out this morning as a motor vehicle accident, I responded as I do with the police and the fire department," Piper said. "Rolling up, you see the bus and immediately you start to think the worst."

However, all of the 34 students on the bus were taken to Backus Hospital for treatment or evaluation. All injuries were believed to be non-life-threatening. As of Tuesday afternoon, all students had been treated and released from the hospital.

"Fortunately it was very minor injuries with the students," Piper said. "My heart goes out to each and every one of the students and their parents because I know all of the people in town."

Backus Hospital says all students were treated and released from the hospital on Tuesday. State police said the students are Norwich Technical High School and Griswold High School students.

"Just a very, very scary morning," said Lynn Hardell, of Canterbury.

Parents did arrive at the scene. All of the students' parents were advised of the incident. 

"When they got here, we assured them that everyone was OK," Piper said.

The driver of Luxury 30-year-old Justin M. Rice, of Ledyard, suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said. Police said that Rice was unable to make a statement on the crash. 

"I pray for the recovery of the students and I pray for the recovery of the individual [in the car]," Piper said.

The bus driver 59-year-old Patrica A. Avery, of Moosup, suffered minor injuries, police said. Avery told police the Luxury crossed the centerline and hit the bus. 

"The bus driver did an amazing job staying on the road...preventing any roll over. It was very scary," said Kristen Burroughs, a Griswold High School student.

Investigators said the road was wet, but that they did not believe weather to be a factor.

"That's all under investigation with the state police," Piper said.

The Routes 169 and 14 area was closed to drivers, state police said. However, it reopened around 10 a.m.

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