Four children were among six people hospitalized in a crash involving a school bus in Lake Elsinore Friday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A van and a school bus collided in the 1400 block of Morro Way about 7:32 a.m., Cal Fire Riverside said.
California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig told the Associated Press that the 38-year-old driver of the van and one of his passengers, a 5-year-old girl, were left seriously injured. Those two victims had been extricated from the van, Lassig said.
Two other children in the van were left with minor injuries – a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl. The vehicle was a work cargo van with only two seats up front, and the children were not wearing seat belts, CHP Sgt. Mark von Voigt said.
“It could have been much worse,” von Voigt said. “Keep your children restrained.”
The driver of the bus – which was transporting 10 students from Lake Elsinore Unified School District – had minor injuries, as did one of the students, Lassig told AP.
Video from the scene showed a school bus with a shattered windshield and a damaged bumper stopped next to a white van with its passenger side door caved in and its front badly damaged.
Firefighters could be seen speaking with children who were carrying their backpacks and waiting on the curbside near the crash site.
Cal Fire had said that eight people were transported to hospitals, and seven students who were not injured in the crash were all “released to the school district.” The reason for the discrepancy with CHP’s numbers was not immediately clear.
CHP was investigating the cause of the collision and no further details were available.
#MorroINCIDENT [UPDATE] 8 victims have been transported by ground ambulance; 2 with serious injuries, 2 with moderate injuries and 4 with minor injuries. 7 students who were uninjured were released to the school district.
— CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) December 13, 2019