School bus with kids on board involved in wreck in Mesa, several hurt

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA -- Five people, three of them students, were taken to the hospital after a pickup truck rear-ended a school bus early Monday morning.

The bus, which is from Desert Hills High School, a public charter high school located near Ray Road and Val Vista in Gilbert, had stopped to pick up some students when it was rear-ended by a Chevy pickup truck that was hauling a small tractor on a trailer. The bus did have its red lights flashing, according to Sgt. Ed Wessing of the Mesa Police Department.

The damage to the front of the truck was extensive., and the force of the impact broke the hitch.

The driver of that truck, an adult male, suffered a broken leg and was taken to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital.

According to Dep. Chief Mike Dunn of the Mesa Fire Department, three students and the bus driver were also taken to the hospital. Most of their injuries were believed to be relatively minor.

Rescuers were treating remaining students -- 10 of them were on the bus at the time of the wreck -- on the scene. Crews on the scene said some of those students were complaining of back and neck pain.

Alyssa Shumway, a student who was sitting at the back of the bus when the pickup hit it, said it all happened very fast.

"I saw lights, and that's all I saw," she said. "We hit the seats in front of us."

Brandon Miller was waiting to get on the bus and saw the wreck.

"This can came flying in and hit the bus," he said. "[The driver of the pickup] tried to stop but he was going too fast. ... It sounded like a sonic boom."

Eastbound University Drive was closed for quite some time while the Mesa Police Department conducted its investigation. At this point, police do no believe impairment was a factor in the wreck.