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School bus crashes in Rockland County; 7 children and driver injured

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NEW HEMPSTEAD, Rockland County (WABC) — Police are investigating a crash involving a school bus in Rockland County that sent seven children and the bus driver to area hospitals.

It happened before 9 am Thursday on North Southgate Drive in New Hempstead.

The bus was carrying about 22 people on board, including the driver, a 37-year-old man.

Officials said the bus veered off the road, scraped against a telephone pole and struck a tree before crashing into two cars parked in a driveway. One of the cars flipped over due to the force of the impact.

It then continued down a hill, struck multiple trees, and then slammed into the corner of a house and came to a stop.

Video from NewsCopter 7 showed the overturned vehicle resting against the side of the bus.

The crash occurred on a street that had speed bumps installed recently after longstanding complaints about buses using residential roads as a shortcut– often at unsafe speeds.

“The reason why so many buses use this street as a cut-through is if you drive down Union towards 306 or the other side towards 306 there’s a lot of traffic in the morning,” Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs representative Yossi Gestetner said.

A number of the passengers on the bus were trapped and had to be rescued by first responders.

The driver was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern and treated for an abrasion on his head.

As of 1:20 pm Thursday, seven of the children were being cared for at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, one of them in critical condition while the six others were in fair condition.

“It’s a very disturbing, shocking scene,” Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht said. “We’re worried about the kids. We’re worried about everybody’s safety. I’m very grateful for our police and all the first responders that arrived very quickly.”

All the other students were taken back to the school to be evaluated.

Officials said the driver was tested and showed no signs of impairment.

The Town of Ramapo Police Department Crash Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.

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