Metco bus crashes in Newton; 34 students and driver taken to local hospitals, State Police say
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
NEWTON — A school bus carrying Lexington-bound Metco students crashed in Newton today, sending 34 middle school students to local hospitals with minor injuries, State Police said.
The three-vehicle crash took place around 7:30 a.m. on the westbound lanes of Route 9 near the intersection with Woodcliff Road in Newton, State Police said in a statement.
All 34 middle school children on the bus were transported to the hospital, with 11 complaining of pain, Newton Fire Lieutenant Eric Fricke said. Three of those children were complaining of head and neck pain, and another complained of back pain, Fricke said. Seven other children had bumps and bruises.
The remaining 23 minors were transported as a precaution and so their parents or guardians could pick them up, fire department officials said.
At Newton-Wellesley Hospital today, the mother of a Metco student rushed into the emergency room to be with her daughter.
She and another woman arrived at Newton-Wellesley around 10:30 a.m., walking briskly and with concerned expressions on their faces.
“She’s OK. She just got her nose bruised, but she’s fine,” said the mother, who declined to provide her name. “I’m just concerned right now about my child’s welfare.”
The two women spent about 30 minutes inside the emergency room before emerging with the woman’s daughter. The student, wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a pink sweater, had a sleepy look on her face. She was holding a tissue, but appeared to be OK.
Lexington Assistant School Superintendent Carol A. Pilarski said in a statement that a bus monitor and the driver were on the bus but were not transported to the hospital.
“It appears that none of the students or staff on the bus were seriously injured, though eleven have complained of neck or head pain,” Pilarski said.
The school system said the parents of all 34 students had been contacted and officials would release a thorough accident report from Newton police when it becomes available. The bus was carrying students bound for Jonas Clarke Middle School and William Diamond Middle School.
Metco, founded in 1966, currently sends 3,300 children from Boston and Springfield to suburban school systems.
Students were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a spokesman said, where they were also being examined for minor injuries.
The investigation is ongoing, but State Police said it appeared that the bus rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a traffic light, pushing the first car into a second vehicle also stopped at the traffic light. No citations have been issued, State Police said.Lauren Dezenski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenDezenski. Brian Ballou can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.