An official said the school bus had 53 people on board, and that only the driver had access to a seatbelt
One student was killed and over two dozen others were injured after an elementary school bus crashed in Ohio on the first day of school, officials said.
The crash happened on Tuesday around 8:15 a.m. local time on State Route 41 near Lawrenceville Road in German Township, the Ohio State Police said in a news release.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the bus from the Northwestern Local School District was traveling westbound on the roadway "when it was struck by a 2010 Honda Odyssey minivan that was traveling eastbound on state Route 41 and went left of center," per the release.
"The school bus subsequently went off the right side of the roadway and overturned as a result of the crash," police added.
The bus was carrying 53 people, including the driver, Sgt. Tyler Ross, with the OSHP Public Affairs Unit, told reporters, per NBC affiliate WCMH-TV.
One child, who has not been identified at this time, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ross shared that only the bus driver has access to a seat belt and was wearing one at the time of the crash.
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"22 juvenile passengers were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries," according to police. "One juvenile passenger was transported to Children’s Hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries."
The bus driver, Alfred E. Collier, 68, suffered minor injuries but was not transported, police added. The Honda driver, a 35-year-old man, and his passenger, 37, were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Northwestern Local Schools has notified parents in a series of updates about the crash on Facebook, saying that they were "saddened to report" the accident. They have also provided information about parent reunification.
"If your child was involved in the bus accident this morning, you will be notified very soon," the district said.
At the briefing, Ross called the crash "tragic" and added that authorities are asking "for space and patience [so] our community members, emergency personnel on scene, families affected, the school district and all its members" are given "time to start the healing process."
An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
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