By The Associated Press
AURORA — A school bus collided with a garbage truck stopped along a road in southeastern Indiana on Wednesday, seriously injuring a 13-year-old student and leaving 18 other students and two adults with mostly minor injuries, authorities said.
Twenty-two students were on the South Dearborn Community School Corporation bus when it struck the rear of a garbage truck along State Road 350 near Aurora, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Cincinnati, said State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles. The collision about 8 a.m. crumpled the front of the bus.
Eighteen students were taken for treatment at area hospitals, most for minor injuries, and a parent later took at least one additional student to a hospital to be checked out, Wheeles said. The driver of the school bus and the garbage truck also were treated for injuries.
"While there were numerous kids injured we're very fortunate that most of those injuries appear to be minor," Wheeles said.
One student suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said Eric Lows, superintendent of South Dearborn Community School Corporation.
Hospital spokesman Jim Feuer said that 13-year-old Jordan Cole was in fair condition Wednesday afternoon and his parents are requesting privacy.
The bus was carrying mostly middle and high school students to local district schools after picking them up, Lows said, but some students from two private schools were also onboard.
Middle school student Dakota Jones said he was on the bus when the crash occurred and students began screaming.
"I heard screaming. I heard noises and I went to the back of the bus. A few kids were screaming. Most of them were crying," he told WXIX-TV after he was treated and released from a hospital.
Indiana State Police are leading the investigating into the crash with assistance from the Dearborn County Sheriff's Department, Wheeles said.
He said it was too early to speculate about whether the school bus driver didn't see the garbage truck that had stopped along the road, whether the truck was obscured by the glare of the morning sun, "or what exactly occurred there."
He said both the bus driver and the garbage truck drive will submit to routine toxicology tests, but alcohol or drugs are not suspected in the crash.
Crash investigators will also be thoroughly inspecting the school bus, including its brakes and other systems. The garbage truck will also be inspected.
A spokeswoman for Rumpke Waste & Recycling told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the school bus struck a Rumpke residential truck. She said the garbage truck driver was not inside the vehicle when the collision occurred, but was injured by crash debris.
Wednesday's crash follows a December school bus crash in northern Indiana that killed a 13-year-old boy. In that case, a truck driver told police he was removing his jacket and a sweat shirt just before his vehicle rear-ended the school bus.