Monday, 20 February 2012

1 dead, 17 injured in N.J. school bus crash

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — An investigation is underway into a fatal crash that occurred here on Thursday morning involving a school bus and a dump truck. 

According to the Chesterfield Township Police Department, the school bus, which was carrying 25 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, was en route to Chesterfield Elementary School when the dump truck struck the driver’s side rear of the bus at an intersection.

The impact of the crash then caused the bus to strike a pole. One student was killed in the accident — an 11-year-old girl who was the daughter of a New Jersey state trooper — and 17 students sustained injuries.

The children were transported to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Police later said that three of the children are currently in critical condition, and the condition of two other children is unknown.

The driver of the dump truck was Michael Caporale, 38, and the driver of the school bus was 66-year-old John Tieman. No charges have been filed on either driver at this point.

Officials said that a full forensic exam of all evidence, as well as numerous interviews and technical examinations will be conducted as the investigation into the crash continues. The process is expected to take several weeks to complete.
The Chesterfield Township Police Department said it will be the primary agency investigating the accident, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, the NJSP Troop C Criminal Investigations Office and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The NJSP Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit will assist in the inspection of the vehicles involved.

Chesterfield Township School District Superintendent Ellen McHenry issued a letter to parents on Thursday following the accident.

“Our entire school family is sadly grieving the loss of one of our students as a result of the accident,” McHenry said. “We are continuing to monitor the conditions of those students who were injured in the accident at this time.” 
By Kelly Roher

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