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Jeep skids into school bus bound for Aquebogue Elementary School

03/22/2017 9:27 AM |

A Jeep skidded into a packed school bus bound for Aquebogue Elementary School on Main Road in Aquebogue Wednesday morning.

More than a dozen kids were on the bus and no injuries were reported among the children, who were transferred onto a another school bus.

The accident occurred at about 8:45 a.m. when the driver of a Jeep rear-ended a white sedan and then skidded into the front corner of the parked bus, according a witness. The other car crashed through a fence on the eastbound side of Main Road near West Lane and came to a stop on the grass.

Riverhead police said the driver of the sedan, a woman, was being transported to a local hospital for minor injuries.

Olivia Connelly, who lives on Main Road, was standing on the curb as the bus came to a stop in front of her home in the westbound lane so her 5-year-old daughter, who’s in kindergarten, could board. The crash occurred just before her daughter got on the bus, she said.

“Luckily the bus was fully stopped,” she said. “I pulled [my daughter] to the side and I saw [the bus driver’s face], she saw it coming and she just held onto the steering wheel and just braced for it.”

“The bus didn’t move,” she added, “but still, it’s frightening.”

Ms. Connelly, who has four children, said her house is among the final stops for the bus before it reaches the school.

The students remained on the bus for about 15 minutes before they were safely transferred to a second bus. The driver of the Jeep was not injured.

Traffic on Main Road backed up in both directions following the crash. One lane of traffic was closed and police alternated traffic going through the eastbound lane.

The road was reopened by 9:30 a.m.

Superintendent Nancy Carney emailed the following statement shortly after 11 a.m.:

“This morning a Riverhead CSD bus was stopped to pick up children with its lights flashing and its stop sign extended. A vehicle headed in the opposite direction appears to have hit another car before colliding with our bus. Our students and our driver were not injured. As always, we are appreciative of the Riverhead Police Department and everyone else who responded to the scene to assist our students. We urge all drivers to be on alert for a bus with its lights flashing.”

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The sedan ended up crashing through a picket fence on the westbound lane. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Students were transferred to a second school bus. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

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