On June 17, 2013, a crash involving a school bus occurred around 1:18 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The crash happened in the 300 block of Blackwood-Clementin Road in Lindenwold, New Jersey.
The crash involved the school bus, a car, and a pedestrian. Investigators found clear tire tracks from where the school bus barreled down the wrong side of the street and struck a Honda Civic. The Honda Civic spun out of control and struck a pedestrian, who was mowing a lawn alongside of the road.
The bus’s dash cam video shows the school bus driver driving far too fast down the wrong side of the road. It also shows cars and a mail truck swerving to avoid a collision with the bus. The video shows the end result, which is the collision with the Honda Civic. Both the car and the bus then hit a church deacon who was mowing grass outside of an auto body shop.
A 9-year-old boy, Alex Palmer, witnessed the entire accident.
“Just out of nowhere, he just comes and runs right over the car. Because this is the bus and this is the car, he is not paying attention. And he just goes right on top of the car. And then it’s just mayhem. The whole front of the bus was like jacked up. It was all like smashed in. And that whole front of the car was smashed,” Palmer told the media.
Danielle Merriel, 38, a teacher from Overbrook High School in Pine Hill, N.J., had to be extracted from the car. Merriel was air lifted to Cooper University Hospital. Family members told local media that she is currently in critical condition but that they are hopeful that she will make a full recovery.
“The bus I guess went over the car and swung into the deacon or something like that and hit him. Well, word is that he got up and walked,” a church member, Jessica Johnson told local media.
When Johnson arrived at the scene of the accident she feared the worst.
“I came up and I saw the cops around, and I saw them pulling a body out of the car. They said she was stable, she was able to move her neck. However, there was blood all over the place,” Johnson said.
The accident is under investigation and at this time police still do not now what caused the driver of the bus to lose control. There were no children aboard the bus at the time of the crash.
The deacon is expected to be released in the next few days. His injuries luckily were not life threatening.
“My heart was pounding, and I got chills down my spine, but just to see that both of them survived, that is so awesome. I thank God that he is alive,” Johnson continued.
Both urine and blood samples were taken from the bus driver. Police expect to file no charges until they get the reports from the toxicology tests.