IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Nearly a dozen kids and two adults were hurt Thursday morning when a mini-school bus went out of control, crashed into an SUV and then slammed into a building in Irvington, New Jersey.
The accident took place around 8:15 a.m. at the intersection of Springfield Avenue and Sanford Avenue.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandates For NYC Teachers, State Health Care Workers Head To Court
The bus was coming down Sanford Avenue and slammed into a Toyota Rav 4 that was heading east on Springfield Avenue, police said. The Rav 4 hit a light pole as the bus crashed into the side of Home Liquors on Springfield Avenue.
The bus driver told witnesses and police the brakes failed before she could stop at the busy intersection, CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported.
Irvington Township Police Director Musa Malik said the bus ran through a red light.
Surveillance video from a nearby bodega shows the bus sailing through the intersection before striking the building. People can be seen running and scrambling to help the children on board.
“I didn’t speak to her, she just came out of the bus and she was saying, ‘My brakes went off on me,'” Marie Shenouda, the bodega owner who called 911, told Rincon. “I told her, ‘It’s OK. It’s going to be fine.'”
“I tried to come back here and I tried to grab bottled waters because they were scared, even the ones that were OK — they were still scared and they were crying, so I tried to help out,” Shenouda said.
Police said there were 11 children between the ages of 3 and 11 and two adults, including the driver, on the bus at the time of the crash.
The children, the bus driver, chaperone and SUV driver were all alert and conscious with scrapes, bruises and possible broken bones, Rincon reported.
“We take every injury seriously,” said Irvington Mayor Tony Voss. “The chief who evaluated them said he doesn’t think there’s any life threatening injuries. But you know, with children, they were a little banged up.”READ MORE: $432M Winning Mega Millions Ticket Sold At Manhattan Pizza Shop
“It was a severe impact into the structure here so as a precaution everybody’s being checked out,” said Chief John Tierney of the Irvington Fire Deptartment. “Even if they refuse medical attention we’re requesting that they be checked out.”
Nine of those children were on their way to Mount Carmel Guild Academy in West Orange, police said. Three of the kids are special needs. The other two are the bus driver’s children, police said.
Most are recovering at Newark Univerity Medical Center, Rincon reported.
Workers in the liquor store told Rincon the damage from the impact inside was very severe, and they’ve had to shore it up on the inside.
Police said the bus is operated by Horizon Link School, LLC in Bloomfield.
No one at its headquarters would speak to CBS2.
But it’s track record with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commisison isn’t good, Rincon reported.
Its last round of inspections in May had a 96 percent initial out of service failure rate — that means the vehicles all needed work before they passed inspection, Rincon reported.
Only 4 percent passed initially.
Officials said the local buildings department will check out the stability of the store that was hit by the bus.MORE NEWS: Actor Willie Garson, Best Known For 'Sex And The City,' Dies At 57
Irvington officials say they are investigating the driver’s claims that the brakes failed as they reconstruct the crash.