During the icy commute this morning, a Hopewell Elementary School bus was involved in an accident in the neighborhood of Hopewell Hunt.
The bus slid diagonally on the icy road and hit a parked car occupied by a district parent and student. The parent was injured jumping out of the parked car after her son leapt from the car as the bus slid toward them, said an eyewitness.
Hopewell Valley Regional School District reported in an email to district families today that three students were involved in the accident. One student, along with the parent, was transported to the hospital.
Reports are that the hospitalized individuals have not sustained serious injury.
One parent in the district reported to MercerMe that her child, who was on the 7AM high school/middle school bus that left from that same school bus stop, phoned from the bus to report that she was concerned about the safety of the roads and indicated that the bus slid off the very same road of the later incident.
“We’re so lucky and grateful that everyone is relatively unharmed. The neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks so our kids wait for the bus in the street. We’re so lucky that no one was by the side of the road today,” said an eyewitness who is a parent in the district and resident of Hopewell Hunt. “This could have been avoided. I’d rather have my kids be late for school.”
Neighbors in Hopewell Hunt said the roads in the neighborhood had not been treated for de-icing and parents in the district called to notify HVRSD of the poor road conditions.
“We do our very best to monitor weather conditions and make decisions regarding any changes to the school schedule that are in the best interests of student safety. Unfortunately, at approximately 6AM, Central New Jersey had a band of freezing rain move through the area. The timing and temperature of this weather event could not have been worse, and it made travel and transit very difficult for the morning school arrival time period,” said HVRSD Superintendent Dr. Tom Smith.
HVRSD has also indicated that the school counselor at Hopewell Elementary checked in on students who may have witnessed the accident upon their arrival at school today and the counselor will continue to monitor student tomorrow.