HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (AP) — A bus carrying dozens of Pennsylvania eighth-graders to Washington, D.C., for a field trip overturned on Interstate 95 in northeastern Maryland on Monday, state police said. Officials said one child and one teacher were seriously injured.
The bus carrying 26 children from Charles W. Henry School, three chaperones and the driver overturned at least once on the highway near Havre de Grace, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said. One child and one adult were flown to trauma centers in Maryland and Delaware. Others were taken to hospitals by ambulance, police said. No deaths have been reported.
One teacher was flown to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s trauma center in Baltimore, but was still going through triage, the University of Maryland Medical System said in a statement. A spokeswoman for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, said a student had been taken there.
Neither facility would give information on the patients’ injuries or conditions.
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The University of Maryland said in a statement that 17 patients were taken to its hospital in Harford County. Nine patients were taken to another of the university’s hospitals in Havre de Grace. Two children were taken from a Maryland hospital to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Steven Fountain, an emergency physician at Harford Memorial Hospital, said at a news conference that he did not expect any of the patients to be held overnight. He said many of the patients suffered muscle strains and contusions.
Philadelphia schools Superintendent William Hite said in a news release late Monday that 21 students, a teacher, a chaperone and the bus driver had been released from the hospital. Five students and one teacher remained hospitalized.
Police in Maryland say a car that tried to pass the bus clipped it, causing it to overturn.
State Police say the southbound car lost control Monday morning as it tried to pass the bus on Interstate 95 in northeastern Maryland, came back across travel lanes and clipped the front of the bus.
Troopers said the driver of the passenger vehicle is from Maryland, and he refused medical treatment at the scene. Crash investigators have consulted with the Harford County state’s attorney’s office, who said charges would be withheld for now. Once the investigation is finished, troopers said in a statement, the state’s attorney will review it and determine if charges will be filed.
A group of Philadelphia police recruits on a commercial bus behind the overturned bus stopped to help, he said.
Hite said at a news conference that Charles W. Henry School will remain open all night so parents can be reunited with their children.
Mayor Jim Kenney said “As a parent myself, your mind runs wild as to what happened, especially if you can’t see your child, your child’s not there.”
Media outlets report that the bus was operated by Phoenixville, Pennsylvania-based charter company Werner Coach. The company issued a statement Monday evening, saying, “Werner Coach is cooperating fully with police, officials from the Maryland State Police and others to assist the passengers involved in the accident in Maryland.
“Werner Coach wishes to express its sorrow and sympathy to those impacted by this accident.”