Seven children in hospital after school bus crash northwest of Toronto

Police are encouraging anyone who observed the crash to come forward

HALTON HILLS, Ont. — Seven children and one adult have been rushed to hospitals northwest of Toronto after the school bus they were riding was rear-ended by a tanker truck, police said Thursday.

Although two of the children are believed to have serious injuries, paramedics said no one is in life-threatening condition after the crash in Halton Hills, Ont.

Police said the crash took place around 8 a.m. at the intersection of Sixth Line and Steeles Avenue when a tanker carrying home heating fuel appeared to collide with the bus carrying seven children to two local elementary schools.

Photographs from the scene showed the back of the school bus partially caved in and damage to the front end of the tanker truck.

Sgt. Ryan Snow of the Halton Regional Police’s traffic services unit said the collision came as a shock to those involved and the witnesses who have been interviewed so far.

“Any time that you witness any sort of collision, for sure people are going to be shaken up by what they’ve seen, not just the people who are on board the bus,” he said at a news conference.

Snow said the average age of the children ranged from 10 to 12, though he did not have specific details for all passengers.

Injuries included a broken ankle and a concussion, he said, adding the two most seriously hurt children were rushed to McMaster Children’s Hospital for treatment. Peel Region Paramedics who transported them described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Snow said five other children and the bus driver were taken to a hospital in Milton, Ont, close to the scene of the accident.

Halton Region School Board spokeswoman Marnie Denton said only one of those children is currently being treated for injuries. The other four and the bus driver are currently there for observation, she said.

Denton said the students were en route to Pineview Public School and Stewarttown Public School at the time of the crash.

She said staff and students at the two schools near Georgetown, Ont. are “concerned” for those who were injured. The parents of the affected children were notified of the situation and were either on the scene of the accident or en route to the appropriate hospitals, she said.

Denton did not have any information on the gender or identity of the bus driver.

Snow said the driver of the tanker truck was not harmed in the collision and is co-operating with police.

“(He’s) obviously been shaken up,” he said. “It’s not something most of us can attest to being involved in on a daily basis is a collision such as this, and obviously a school bus I think heightens that, however he appears to be fine,” he said.

Snow said a reconstruction unit is on scene investigating the crash, adding it is too early to know whether or not charges will be laid. He said anyone who observed the crash is encouraged to come forward.