16 children and a bus driver have been injured after a school bus carrying 40 children was knocked over by a U-Haul truck in Victorville, California.
The accident occurred at around 2pm on Thursday afternoon, when the school bus was transporting children between the ages of nine and 11 home from school at the Galileo Academy in Victorville, a small town about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
According to eye witness reports, a U-Haul truck was backing out of a driveway when the school bus approached. California Highway Patrol Officer Joaquin Zubieta reports that a mother and a daughter were in the process of moving house and had hired a U-Haul truck. The mother was driving the vehicle and was being directed by the daughter as she backed out of the driveway. At the time of the incident, there was a miscommunication between the mother and daughter and the mother backed the truck at speed all the way out into the middle of the road, directly in front of the oncoming school bus.
The bus driver attempted to swerve in order to avoid a collision, but was unable to take action in time. The rear of the U-Haul truck hit into the right side of the school bus, causing the rear axle to spin and the bus to be knocked over onto its left side. The bus spun across the road, blocking both lanes of traffic.
16 children on the bus and the bus driver suffered injuries in the accident. The mother and daughter in the U-Haul truck were unharmed. Two of the injured children had serious but not life threatening injuries, and are currently being treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to Tracey Martinez, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino County fire department.
Ten other children were also transported to local hospitals, while four children were treated for minor injuries on the scene and released, said Zubieta. One of the children who was injured seriously had suffered a laceration to the head, while the other seriously injured child had broken his leg.
Parents of the children on the bus were contacted by school district officials and transportation officers, and the uninjured children were collected by their parents from the scene of the accident once they were cleared by medical personnel on the scene. Counseling will be made available to any children who were traumatized by the accident at school.