School bus involved in crash, injuries reported

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Emergency crews were called to the scene of a charter school bus crash in the West Valley Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred just after 4 p.m. in Goodyear at the intersection of Van Buren Street and Estrella Parkway.

A flatbed pickup truck struck the back of the school bus according to Russ Braden, a battalion chief with the Goodyear Fire Department.

Police say witnesses told them the driver of the pickup truck ran the red light at the intersection, hitting the bus as it turned left.

Braden said 14 students were aboard the Bradley Academy of Excellence bus.

"There was this car, and it was going really, really fast, and there was smoke coming out of the back; it hit my bus on the back wheel," said student EmmaLeigh Woodruff.

Firefighters say the driver of the pickup truck was the most injured.  The school bus driver and a 12-year-old student suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The rest of the students were checked out by firefighters on scene, scared but otherwise okay.

"I felt really scared," said one student who was on the bus. "I felt like the earth was crumbling and it was just terrible," said student Daniela Andrade.

Coincidentally, students had just practiced for an emergency situation.

"We actually just did our bus evacuation drill last week," said Wilbur Reid, the school's director of transportation.  "All the kids actually knew what to do."

Police are still investigating what led up to the crash.  However, witnesses indicate the driver of the pickup was at fault and say speed was a factor.

"This was a reckless driver going way too fast," said parent Chelsea Woodruff.  "Slow down and obey traffic signals."

The Principal of Bradley Academy says parents whose children ride Bus "1" should be prepared to find alternate transportation on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report