Three disabled students and a bus monitor sustained non-life-threatening injuries after a small school bus crashed on the northbound side of Todd Road in Wolcott Monday afternoon.
The bus had just left Tyrrell Middle School when the driver said he veered right to avoid an oncoming car and struck a tree near Route 307 at about 3:30 p.m, according to police.
"Again, we’re going to check everything and see if that was in fact what happened," Wolcott Police Chief Ed Stephens said.
Five people were on the bus, including the driver, a monitor and students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. The monitor and one student were seriously injured and the two other students were also hurt, so all four were rushed to the hospital. The bus driver wasn't hurt.
The students were all wearing seat belts.
One student has been released and another student and the monitor are expected to be let out of the hospital soon. The third student was transferred by a LifeStar helicopter to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, but there is no word on his condition.
“Before your child is home, you’re living in Wolcott you hear a school bus accident coming from Tyrrell school you’re going to be alarmed," Chief Ed Stephens said. "You hear something like that you’re going to be worried and upset. We’re tried to get the word out to the parents right away whose children were involved.”
While neighbors in Wolcott did not see what led to this frightening scene, they at least heard the school bus hitting a tree.
“Just a loud explosion and the next thing the bus stopping right in front of the house here," John Yashenko, of Wolcott, said.
People on Todd Road dropped what they were doing and a paramedic who just happened to be driving behind the bus raced to help.
“I took off my shirt applied pressure to the first fella in the first seat here and just tried to keep him calm," Larry Bennett, of Wolcott, said.
The student Bennett helped was the most seriously hurt, according to police.
“Good Samaritanship is all I did. You see somebody in need, you help out," Bennett said.
An accident reconstruction team responded.
Police said the bus company, All-Star Transportation, is cooperating and they are interviewing witnesses to help figure out what happened.
The other two students and the bus monitor are expected to be back home Monday night.
The road was blocked off at Garrigus Court and Central Avenue in the northbound direction as police responded.