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Officials: 17 Children Injured, 1 Killed In South Jersey School Bus Crash

State Police on the scene of a bus crash - Chesterfield, NJ - Feb 16, 2012 (credit: Levon Putney / WCBS 880)

State Police on the scene of a bus crash – Chesterfield, NJ – Feb 16, 2012 (credit: Levon Putney / WCBS 880)

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CHESTERFIELD, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) - Authorities say 17 students were injured when a school bus collided with a dump truck, killing the daughter of a state trooper and critically injuring two other children.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney In South Jersey

It happened around 8 a.m. Thursday at a four-way intersection in Chesterfield, south of Trenton. The collision sent the bus crashing sideways into a traffic signal pole. The dump truck ran off the road and into a grassy area.

Chesterfield police Chief Kyle Wilson said the details are still being sorted out, but that the bus had a stop sign while the dump truck had a flashing yellow light. He said it was not clear whether the bus was attempting to cross the intersection or turn when the collision happened.

Authorities did not give the names of the driver of either vehicle. Both were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

State police at the scene confirmed the death of the child and identified her as the daughter of a trooper, though no official announcement was immediately made.

A parent who came to pick up her children said they were bruised and that other students on the bus were taken to the hospital.

Camden’s Cooper University Hospital, which has a trauma unit, received three of the most seriously injured students and they were listed in critical condition, a spokeswoman said. Authorities later said that one of the three students at Cooper was in “guarded” rather than critical condition.

Students with less severe injuries were taken to three other hospitals in the area.

All of the students on board were from Chesterfield Elementary School. Schools superintendent Ellen McHenry issued a statement to parents about the incident, which said in part:

“At this time, school officials are working with police and emergency personnel to ascertain the extent of student injuries…students and staff in our school have been apprised of the accident and are receiving supper where needed via our counseling staff and the members of the Burlington County School Crisis Response team.”

Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement saying his “thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.” He planned to comment further after the release of more information on the accident.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)