Students hurt, driver charged after motorhome collides with school bus near Lunenburg

by Keith Corcoran

Three teenage girls were taken to hospital by ambulance and an American man is charged with a traffic offence following a crash involving a school bus and a motorhome outside Lunenburg.

One of the girls, believed to be 15, struck her head on the bus window and the seat in front of her. She and two 16 year olds were taken to South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater with injuries described as non-life threatening.

The 24 other students on South Shore Region school bus number 233 bound for Park View Education Centre in Bridgewater were not seriously hurt. Neither was the woman driving the bus, who's been doing the job for about 10 years. She's being credited for how well she managed in the circumstances. "This involved all aspects from trying to avoid the accident as much as possible to the care and professionalism shown towards the students after the accident," Paul Ash of the South Shore Regional Centre for Education told LighthouseNOW in an email.

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>South Shore Region school bus number 233 in the ditch near the intersection of Highway 332 and Highway 3 in Centre.</p>
  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>A smashed-up Airstream Interstate motorhome. The Nevada-registered vehicle collided with a school bus on September 26.</p>

There were "many comments made by students who praised the way the driver handled the situation," he said.

Lunenburg district RCMP said the school bus was mobile on Highway 3 in Centre and heading toward Bridgewater when an Airstream Interstate motor home on Highway 332 entered the intersection near an auto shop and t-boned the bus. The bus, struck on its passenger side, was forced by the impact partially into a ditch on an angle but stayed upright. "Another foot and that bus would have rolled over," Sgt. Mark MacPherson told LighthouseNOW. "Thank God this was minor injury in light of what happened."

RCMP, paramedics and Lunenburg volunteer fire fighters were summoned to the incident September 26 at about 8:45 a.m.

"Parts of the bus and camper were all over the road," Trevor Lohnes, a captain with the Lunenburg fire department, told LighthouseNOW at the scene. "The whole intersection was full of smashed up pieces, and fluids were leaking from the bus itself."

Multiple fire trucks and about 20 personnel worked the incident. Motor vehicle traffic was restricted in the area for about three hours.

Lohnes also credited the bus driver's actions. "She did a great job keeping it on the road."

Meanwhile, the driver of the motorhome, a Nevada man in his 60s, is charged with failing to obey a traffic sign. He potentially could face more traffic charges depending on the course of the probe, police said. There was no evidence of any impairment and mechanical checks will be conducted on both vehicles as part of the investigation.

A couple of other school buses were brought in to take the uninjured students to school. The bus involved in the crash safely dropped off students earlier at Bluenose Academy in Lunenburg.

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