Two dead as school bus crashes with truck in New Jersey

A state prosecutor confirmed “fatalities”, after the crash, in which 43 others were injured.

Some of those are still in a critical condition.

Pictures from the scene showed the wreck of the yellow American school bus on its side, lying across crash barriers on the central reservation.

The front of the bus was mangled and the vehicle was missing its wheels.

A large red dumper truck, also with a mangled front, was at the side of the road.

The bus was one of several in convoy on the way to a school trip. Other students were turned around and sent back after they arrived, being told they were leaving because of bad weather.

They later learned their classmates had been in a crash.

Police have said they are investigating a “serious” accident.

According to US media, 10 people have been taken to the Hackettstown Medical Center, 10 have been taken to St Clare’s Hospital and others have been taken to the Morristown Medical Center.

One pupil on the bus, Theo Ancevski, said: “I heard a scraping sound and we toppled over the highway. A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts.

“A lot of people were injured.”

He said people escaped through emergency exits on the roof and in the back of the vehicle.

Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum told The Record: “There’s an incredible emergency response from throughout Morris County and by state police. It’s a horrific scene.”

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said his heart is “broken” after the incident.

A Paramus School District statement said: “This morning, East Brook Middle School students on their way to Waterloo Village were involved in a serious bus accident on Route 80 in Mount Olive, NJ.

“Morristown Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Hackettstown Medical Center are treating the injured passengers.

“Family members are asked to visit East Brook Middle School to await more information from school officials. Students will be dismissed from school.”

Police search dogs patrolled the area at around 12.30pm local time.

The bus is marked as a Paramus School District vehicle, and it is understood that a fifth-grade class trip from the district was scheduled for Waterloo Village, an historic site five miles from the crash scene.

East Brook Middle School is home to fifth to eighth grade pupils. Mount Olive township confirmed to a local paper that students from their district were not involved.

The red truck involved is believed to be a Mendez Trucking vehicle. The company has a fleet of 33 drivers and trucks.

Its trucks have been involved in seven crashes in two years, none of them fatal. It was fined more than $22,000 (£16,000) in 2016 for violating regulations on inspections, repairs, maintenance and post-crash drug and alcohol testing according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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