Sixteen people were taken to hospital on May 17 after a hit-and-run driver allegedly caused a school bus to overturn.
The bus was transporting students between the ages of 7 and 18 to middle and high schools from across Chester County, Pennsylvania, to Lancaster Mennonite, according to WHTM.
While driving down the highway, a light-colored sedan tried to pass two semitrailers carrying an oversized load and their escort vehicles. The car hit the escort vehicle, which caused it to, in turn, hit the school bus. The bus then hit the oversized load on one of the semitrailers and turned over.
The driver of the sedan reportedly continued driving. Police are asking the public to call if they find a male driver in a light-colored, newer-model sedan that most likely has front bumper damage.
Out of the 20 children on the bus, 14 of them were taken to hospital. The bus driver and another driver were also taken to hospital. One child was ejected from the bus during the crash and had to be airlifted to a local hospital. The child is considered to be in critical condition.
Out of the 16 injuries from the crash, 13 were considered to be minor. Only three children had more serious injuries.
"Obviously, our first source is God and the strength that he provides in situations like this," said Lancaster Mennonite Superintendent Pam Tieszen. "It’s never easy, but we reach out and believe we have God as a strength and source through all of this, and there are always positives amongst the difficulties."
Lancaster Mennonite is a private Christian school, reports WPMT. The bus was transporting students from Chester County that come from partner Christian schools that don't offer high school.
Lancaster General Hospital spokesperson John Lines tells WPMT the situation could have been much worse.
"The injuries that the students have sustained, many of them are minor, and that’s very fortunate given the situation," he said.
The hospital is preparing itself to not only treat the students affected, but also the parents, who are likely to undergo emotional stress as they wait to be reunited with their children.
"When you have a situation like this, we set up a special room in our dining area so that families can talk with our counselors, as well as our chaplain to get their answers, if their students are not with them right away," said Lines.
“Those moments are very important because it may take awhile for us to treat the student. That’s a nerve-wracking time for any parent to have to go through."