Bus crashes on I-95 in Greenland; children, adults sent to hospital
August 11. 2018 11:33AM
GREENLAND — Several children were rushed to area hospitals Friday morning after their summer camp bus suddenly drove off the southbound side of Interstate 95 and struck two trees, emergency response officials said.
State Trooper Andrew Wilensky said late Friday in a statement there was the report of a life-threatening injury suffered by one of the juveniles brought to Exeter Hospital and that youth was quickly transported to Boston Children’s Hospital.
All other injuries suffered were non-life-threatening according to both public safety and government spokesmen.
Officials said the bus, a 2010 GMC Savana transport van, was carrying children ages 9-12 on a field trip from the Kittery Community Center SAFE Camp in Maine. They were headed to Candia Springs Adventure Park in Candia.
Greenland Fire Chief Ralph Cresta said three passengers were taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with serious injuries. Police described the three patients as John E. Guy, 21, of Kittery, Maine, who was the bus driver, an unidentified, 18-year-old counselor and a 10-year-old boy. The boy suffered a broken leg and a bump on the head, officials said.
There were 10 others aboard the bus at the time and all but one suffered only minor injuries, including small cuts and bruises. They were taken to Exeter Hospital for evaluation and by mid-afternoon nine of them had been released.
The bus was one of two vehicles traveling from the Kittery Community Center. The passengers were participants in the Kittery Maine Rec Department Summer SAFE Camp. The accident occurred at 9:20 a.m., state police officials said.
The bus that crashed was following another that also carried children from the Kittery Community Center. The other bus arrived at the water park without incident, officials said.
State police dispatched an accident reconstruction team that cleared the scene just before 12:30 p.m.
Prior to that point, lanes were closed in the area for hours which led to miles of backed-up traffic while police worked to reconstruct the accident and remove debris.
State police officials said Guy, the driver, apparently suffered an unknown medical event just before the crash.
“It appears this vehicle was in the travel lane and simply drove off the roadway, so no other vehicles were, more than likely, involved here,” State Police Lt. John Hennessy said.
“It was a very chaotic scene. The road was shut down by the troopers. There were a number of children inside of the vehicle. I believe the driver was still inside the vehicle at the time.”
Speed does not appear to be a factor in the crash but state police continue to investigate the cause, Hennessy said.
The accident drew multiple ambulances to the scene, said State Police Capt. Chris Vetter.
Assisting State Police and Epping Police and Fire officials were fire and emergency medical service departments from Portsmouth, Greenland, Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, Stratham, Exeter and East Kingston.
The traffic backups were on both sides of the highway, with emergency vehicles narrowing the southbound traffic flow and northbound drivers slowing to look at the emergency response, Vetter said.
Reporter Mark Hayward contributed to this report.