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Baltimore County school bus crash: driver, 9 students hospitalized

Baltimore County Fire Department PIO, Paul Massarelli, talks about the bus crash in Parkton, Maryland. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore County police continue to investigate what caused a school bus carrying middle and high school students from Baltimore County to strike a pole and overturn on York Road near Gunpowder Falls Wednesday, seriously injuring the driver.

None of the 42 Hereford Middle and Hereford High School students on board were seriously injured, a Fire Department spokesman said, but some had scrapes and bruises.

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Nine were taken to area hospitals — five from the scene, and four who were returned to the high school — spokesman Paul Massarelli said.

All of the students were up and walking around, he said.

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The cause of the crash was unknown. The bus was headed down a hill just north of Hereford High School about 2:30 p.m. when it overturned at York and Bunker Hill roads, police said. It went off the road, striking a utility pole.

The 65-year-old bus driver, a Freeland woman, was taken to Sinai Hospital's trauma center. Her condition was not known Thursday.

She was able to talk to emergency responders, Massarelli said.

Brady Hammann, an eighth-grader at Hereford Middle School, said he felt the bus slide and then flip.

"When I got up, I had a bunch of kids on top of me," he said. He left through the rear of the bus.

Baltimore County schools spokesman Mychael Dickerson said the bus is owned by the district.

Dickerson said bus drivers who are involved in a crash are tested for drugs and alcohol. He said the driver in Wednesday's crash would have to be stabilized before officials could follow that protocol.

Hereford High School's principal and assistant principal were at the scene. Students who were not injured were taken to the high school, where their parents were told to pick them up.

All but a few students had been picked up by 4 p.m., Dickerson said.

Brothers Matt and Colin Campbell were on the bus.

"Everybody was screaming," said Colin, an eighth-grader.

The brothers said they exited through a hatch in the roof of the bus.

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"I thought it was all a dream," said Matt, a sixth-grader.

York Road was shut down during the investigation.

Counseling services will be available to students and teachers at Hereford Middle and Hereford High Schools on Thursday, Dickerson said.

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