CENTREVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — An elementary school field trip became a trip to the hospital in Queen Anne’s County. State police say an SUV pulled out in front of two busloads of kids, injuring 17 people.
Kelly McPherson has more.
Police say the driver of the bus is not at fault. They did a mechanical inspection and found nothing wrong with the bus. But the driver of the SUV involved in the accident, Carl Trends, Jr., has charges pending against him.
The terrifying accident unfolded on Rt. 213, just outside Centreville. Police say an SUV cut off two busloads of kindergarten students on a field trip with their parents, causing one bus to swerve and hit a utility pole before skidding to a stop on its side.
“It was unbelievable. There was an unbelievable amount of people helping,” said mom Cassandra Price, who was on board.
Seventeen of the 35 people involved had to go to hospitals. Most injuries were not severe, but one woman was seriously injured and taken to Shock Trauma.
“I didn’t know where my son was at, at first,” said Tyron Wright.
“There was a field full of kids and parents. They were crying,” said witness Carl Weishaupt.
The roof of the bus had escape hatches. All the students and parents got out of there safely.
“I fell down,” said one child. “The cops helped [me out of the bus].”
Police say the SUV was trying to turn left on Rt. 213. Investigators spent the morning interviewing Trends.
“Due to the size of the scene and the size of the rescue, we had to keep it closed for a while,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
“We had basically every ambulance available in Queen Anne’s County either at the scene or filling in at other stations,” said Chief Kevin Aftung.
The students attended classes at Worton and were 17 miles away from the school, on their way to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
“It was pretty chaotic,” said School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Wheeler. “It was very, very difficult. I was relieved when I realized that there were no serious injuries. The kids were very calm and the teachers were fantastic.”
Everyone involved is expected to make a full recovery. The woman taken to Shock Trauma is in stable condition.
Trends was cited two years ago for a seatbelt violation and pleaded guilty. He was taken to the hospital as well.
Police say the bus appeared to be driving the speed limit. The driver declined medical treatment.