Two dead, scores hurt in school bus crash

Two dead, scores hurt in school bus crash

Two dead, scores hurt in school bus crash

One student on the bus, Theo Ancevski, 11, said he heard classmates screaming as the bus toppled.

The bus is believed to have been carrying students from Eastbrook Middle School on a field trip to a nearby historic village.

Some of the victims in the crash, which occurred around 10:20 a.m. ET, crawled out of the emergency exit in the back of the bus and an escape hatch on the roof.

The front end of the bus was severed from the vehicle and the body of the bus was separated from its chassis, which remained on the highway, while the dump truck remained largely intact. Two were killed and the other 43 were taken to hospital, some of them critically injured and undergoing surgery, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said. Almost half of the buses in the state fail their first inspection and have to be taken out of service so they can be fixed and re-inspected. Forty-three people from the bus and the truck driver were taken to three area hospitals.

The operator of the dump truck, Mendez Trucking, had 33 units that drive 1.9 million miles (3.1 million km) in total in 2017 and had been involved in seven crashes over the past two years, U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records showed.

The approximately 44-mile drive from East Brook Middle School in Paramus to Waterloo Village should make for a simple ride - no long, winding trek along the state's backroads or navigating jammed city blocks. Qureshi said students on the other buses didn't find out about the crash until they arrived back at school.

Prosecutors say multiple people were killed but haven't said how many. But the out-of-service rate in Paramus is much lower - at less than 10 percent.

A message left with the company Thursday wasn't immediately returned.

The data reveals two recent driver fitness violations: one for driving without a license and another for not knowing English. They did not release more details about the incident.

Mendez was fined US$22,850 in 2016 for violating regulations on inspections, repairs and maintenance and post-crash drug and alcohol testing, according to the FMCSA.

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