All Sections

Home | Public Safety

One person killed, two students injured Wednesday morning in Bethlehem car-school bus crash

Union Leader Correspondent

April 12. 2018 9:57AM
A bus from the Lincoln-Woodstock Cooperative School District is loaded onto a flatbed wrecker on Wednesday morning after it was hit by a car on Route 116 in Bethlehem. The driver of the car was killed. (COURTESY)

The driver of the Mazda sedan at right was killed Wednesday morning on Route 116 in Bethlehem after crossing from the southbound into the northbound lane, first striking a school bus, and then this SUV. The driver of the sedan was killed in the crash; two students and the bus driver sustained minor injuries. (Courtesy Bethlehem Fire Department)

BETHLEHEM — A Littleton man was killed after police said his car collided with a school bus and then an SUV on Route 116 Wednesday morning.

The bus driver and two students were taken to Littleton Regional Hospital with minor injuries.

Police Chief Michael Ho Sing Loy said Casey Pillsbury, 43, was at the wheel of a silver Mazda sedan in the 7:23 a.m. accident, which closed the road near Chicks’ Sand & Gravel and required a detour until 11 a.m.

The three people on the bus — including driver Earlene Patnaude of Lunenburg, Vt. — all had been treated and released, the chief said.

The students, seven in all, were from the Lincoln-Woodstock Cooperative school district, said Ho Sing Loy.

Their bus was headed north on Route 116, destined for the Arthur T. Paradice Career and Technical Center at White Mountains Regional High School in Whitefield.

Police said Pillsbury was headed south when he crossed into the northbound lane, striking the school bus just behind the cab. The car then hit a second northbound vehicle, a silver Suzuki SUV.

Both the school bus driver and the driver of the SUV, Stacey Havlock, called 911.

Because the initial reports said the collision involved a school bus, four ambulances were dispatched, said Anderson, who added that all the students on the bus were checked at the scene.

The spot where the collision happened has long sight lines on Route 116. The area is “not problematic, but it is a high-speed road,” said Anderson, noting that the posted speed limit is 50 mph.

Ho-Sing-Loy said in his 10 years with the Bethlehem Police Department, there had been “a few accidents there.” He said the weather and road conditions were both good at the time of the collision. Because his investigation was just beginning, he could not say whether speed, impairment or a medical problem were contributing factors.

He said the five students who were uninjured were taken back to Lincoln.

Officials of School Administrative Unit 68, which encompasses the Lincoln-Woodstock Cooperative school district, were unavailable for comment.

Accidents Bethlehem

More Headlines

Mass. utility sued over gas explosions