Delaware State Troopers are investigating a collision involving a school bus that left a Smyrna man critically injured and sent five students to the hospital this morning on U.S. Route 13 about three miles north of Smyrna.
The crash occurred at approximately 7:55 a.m. when a 2007 International school bus stopped on the right shoulder of southbound Route 13 near the Frederick Lodge, north of Black Diamond Road. The bus was picking up Appoquinimink School District students on their way to Old State Elementary south of Odessa. Prior to the stop, no students were on the bus.
As the bus was stopped with its "STOP" sign displayed and red lights flashing, a 2003 Volvo XC90, traveling southbound, went off the right side of the road onto the shoulder and struck the rear of the bus, police said. The Volvo then ran off the shoulder, possibly striking one of the students who was preparing to board the bus.
The driver of the Volvo, Curtis Morris, 43, of Smyrna, was transported by ambulance to Christiana Hospital where he was admitted in critical condition, police said.
Five students who were boarding or waiting to board the bus at the time of the crash were transported to area hospitals for minor injuries. One went to Christiana Hospital, one to A.I. duPont Hospital, and three to the Christiana Care Middletown Emergency Department. All were treated and have been released, or are expected to be released today.
The driver of the bus, Carol Shane, 43, of Townsend, was not injured.
Southbound Route 13 was closed for several hours after the accident.
The Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing its investigation into this crash, and no charges have been filed. The cause of the Volvo leaving the travel lanes of the roadway has not been determined.