LONG HILL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A school bus carrying children went off the road and crashed into a utility pole on Monday morning, taking down power lines and branches.
The crash happened near the intersection of Meyersville Road and Long Hill Road in the Gillette section of Long Hill Township, CBSN New York’s Jim Smith reported.
Chopper 2 was over the scene as the bus ended up in the woods with its emergency exit door still open and power lines hanging above after a routine trip to school veered dangerously off course.
Just before 8:30 a.m., Long Hill police responding to calls of downed power lines discovered the cause. First responders got all eight kids off the bus unscathed, CBS2’s Tara Jakeway reported.
“Upon arrival by the first responders it was deemed that there were no injuries to the children on the bus and no injuries to the driver,” Long Hill Police Chief Ahmed Naga said.
CBSN New York’s Jim Smith In Chopper 2
The female driver for First Student bus company is in her mid to late 50s. Chief Naga also told CBS2 she seemed of sound mind at the scene but was taken to a local hospital for questioning while she’s evaluated. The kids requested to continue with their regularly scheduled Monday.
“As a matter of fact, the Long Hill First Aid Squad transported the children. The children actually wanted to continue to their schools,” Naga said.
The kids range in age from 8 to 11 years old. Two go to Gillette Elementary and six attend Millington Elementary. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin Acevedo contacted parents about the crash involving bus GM-11, asking they meet their children at the schools and that they assess whether they want them to stay.
All involved agree the situation could have been much worse.
“We’ve had several accidents in this area. We’ve had tractor trailers become stuck as they make a right turn. It’s quite a steep hill,” Naga said.
The bus driver said she made a left turn and then the next thing she knew the bus was in the trees, police said. An accident reconstruction team from the Morris County Sheriff’s Department was trying to determine what happened.
Jersey Central Power & Light was also on the scene trying to remove all the lines and get that transformer back up and running. Approximately 1,000 customers in the area were said to be without power.