By Todd Quinones
GALLOWAY TWP., N.J. (CBS) – Several students and a driver were injured in a school bus crash in Atlantic County, New Jersey Thursday afternoon.
The jolt of the collision lifted some children right out of their seats and one child had glass in her face, others had cuts and scrapes.
30 students were on board as a SUV broadsided the school bus right at Old Port Republic Road and Moss Mill Road.
As emergency crews scrambled to treat the children, the driver of the SUV was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
15 of the students were rushed to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Mainland Campus, three others were taken to the Atlantic City Campus.
“I was really scared,” said Kristian Ortiz, 8, who was released from the hospital Thursday evening. “Some people got blood on their shoulder. Some people just got cuts. My sister got cut on the eye.”
Moments after the crash, frantic parents tried to figure out what was happening.
“I’m nervous. Everybody is in there nervous. We are just happy that our kids are okay and that everyone is safe,” mom Jackie D’Ambrosio said.
The school bus has just left nearby Smithfield Elementary School in Galloway Township at around 3:30 p.m.
Police indicate the school bus driver did stop at the stop sign and was beginning to turn left when the SUV slammed into it, jarring the children who range in age from five to 12 years old
“It just happened so fast… I was just sitting down and the guy just crashed into us,” student Dazzy Iannuzzio said.
It’s not clear if the driver of the SUV was speeding.
Fortunately, the injuries to the children were not serious.
The injured children had only cuts and bruises and are expected to be released from the hospital.
The condition of the driver of the SUV is not known.
The 21-year-old school bus driver was also shaken up, but she is expected to be fine.