Authorities say 23 students were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries after a school bus crash in Bedford, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning.
The school bus was carrying about 40 students when it collided with a GMC van towing a trailer around 9 a.m. on Route 3 southbound, just before exit 26, according to state police.
Police said preliminary investigation indicates the crash occurred when an unidentified vehicle abruptly changed lanes in front of the bus, causing the bus driver to brake sharply. The van was unable to stop in time and hit the rear of the bus.
The two right lanes and the breakdown lane were initially closed but have since reopened.
The Lowell Superintendent's Office said the bus was one of eight buses from the Bartlett Community Partnership School in Lowell that were heading to Boston for a field trip to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The injured students were taken to various local hospitals for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. The students who were not injured were taken off the highway and returned to the school.
Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno said the students had mostly bumps and bruises.
"We were extremely fortunate that there weren't more serious injuries in this accident," he said.
The bus driver - a 44-year-old Methuen man - was hospitalized for minor injuries.
The driver of the van, only identified as 24-year-old Lynn man, was not injured.
The accident remains under investigation by state police. The car reported to have cut off the bus has not been located, and no charges have been filed.