VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) – A school bus carrying 40 children was knocked on its side Thursday when a U-Haul truck backed into it, injuring 16 students and the bus driver, authorities said.
Two of the children had “serious but non-life threatening” injuries and were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, said Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for San Bernardino County fire.
Ten others were also transported to hospitals. The remaining four were treated and released at the scene, said California Highway Patrol Officer Joaquin Zubieta.
The crash occurred around 2 p.m. as the children were being taken home from Galileo Academy in Victorville, about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
The U-Haul was backing out of a driveway as the bus, carrying students ages 9 to 11, approached, driving the 40 mph speed limit, Zubieta said.
“At that time there was a mother and daughter in the process of backing out a U-Haul out of their driveway,” with the mother driving as her daughter directed, Zubieta said. “Somewhere along the line there was a lack of communication and the mother backed the U-Haul all the way out in the street, directly into the path of the school bus.”
The driver tried to swerve left to avoid a collision but was unable to prevent a crash.
“The rear end of the U-Haul hit the right side of the school bus by the rear axle, causing it to spin and ultimately roll onto its left side blocking both traffic lanes,” Zubieta said.
One of the children who was seriously injured suffered a laceration to the head, and the other possibly had a broken leg, he said.
Parents were contacted by school and transportation officials, and came to the scene of the accident to pick up their children, Zubieta said.
The crash remained under investigation.