(AP) — A school bus making its morning rounds ran into a railroad bridge
Monday, killing one child and the driver and critically injuring two other
students, authorities said.
The bus carrying
50 students to Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School struck a pillar of the
bridge in the middle of a street on the city's east side about 7:45 a.m.
Monday, city fire Capt. Rita Burris said. The impact tore apart the front
end of the bus, smashing in the first several feet of the driver's side.
Burris said the
male driver and a female student believed to be 5 or 6 years old were
killed. Two male students were critically injured and were taken to
Indianapolis hospitals along with eight others whom Burris characterized as
"walking wounded." WISH-TV reported that one of the injured was a child whom
emergency crews had to rescue from under the front wheel of the bus.
Burris said fire
department crews spent about 45 minutes extricating four people who were
trapped inside the wreck.
The students on
the bus ranged from ages 5 to 16, Burris said. The uninjured students were
taken to the school about two miles away.
it wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash. The pavement was wet from
morning rains, but police Sgt. Anthony Schneider did not know whether it had
been raining at the time of the crash.
an autopsy was planned to determine whether the driver had a medical problem
before the crash.
The driver of
another school bus that was behind the one that hit the bridge and an
approaching car told investigators that the bus wasn't speeding in the 35
"Boom it just
hit," Schneider said. "They didn't see anything like the bus swerving."
told WISH-TV she was on her way to work when she came upon the crash scene.
She said she heard screaming and crying and saw several children with bloody
figure out what it was that was under the bridge," Presley said. "As I was
pulling under I just see kids just start jumping off. They were all
screaming and crying."
She said she
tried to console the children and that a paramedic on board the bus was
trying to help the injured.
Kevin Mays, who
walked to the crash scene from the nearby CSX Transportation rail yard where
he works, said the bus was so crumpled that he expected to see terrible
"There was a lot
of chaos and crying from the kids," Mays said.
student Dimitri Smith, 15, missed the bus and was riding to school with his
grandfather when he saw the accident scene.
Smith told The
Indianapolis Star the bus driver was "a really cool guy."
"He wanted all
of us to be safe, and he was a good bus driver," he said.
The bus is owned
by Miller Transportation. A woman answering the phone at the company's
Indianapolis office said it would have no comment.
Beth Bray, who
works for the Indianapolis mayor's office and was helping to answer the
telephone at the school Monday morning, said the school would have no
immediate comment on the crash.
"We're trying to
help parents and get everybody coordinated," she said.
planned to dismiss students early Monday.