UPDATE: Trucker Hailed As Hero After Avoiding Head-On Collision With School Bus
UPDATE: January 19, 2019 – Transportation Nation Network (TNN) can confirm the bus driver in the January 7, 2019, crash with a semi-tanker in South Harrison Township, New Jersey, has been cited.
After conducting an investigation of the crash scene Lt. Sean Weston of the South Harrison Police Department said, “There were witnesses who saw (the bus) stop at the intersection and proceed through and crash. The bus driver did not see the tanker truck coming.”
The witnesses included children who had just been dropped off by the bus at a nearby stop, Weston said.
The truck driver, who successfully avoided a head-on collision with the bus carrying 22 students, is employed by Harrell Trucking based in Elmer, New Jersey. TNN has learned the driver suffered a knee injury, but is recovering.
A total of 14 students were treated for non-life threatening injuries, but it could have been a much different story.
The owner of Harrell Trucking, Clinton Harrell, said the actions of his driver were nothing short of selfless and heroic because “He could have driven through it.” Instead, the trucker swerved away from the bus and into the woods lining the two-lane road.
Harrell said he believes the truck driver “saved ’em.” Harrell said of the trucker, “He wasn’t worried about himself. He was worried about the kids on the bus.”
We at TNN commend this driver and the many other safe and professional truckers who are looking out for lives on the road every day.
(Original Report Published January 8, 2019)
Gloucester County, New Jersey – A truck driver is being hailed as a hero today after narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a school bus on Monday along a rural county road.
The accident happened at approximately 3:20 p.m. yesterday in South Harrison Township. Officials say the school bus, which is owned by Holcomb Bus Co., was carrying 22 students from Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) when the bus driver attempted to make a left turn from Ferrell Road in front of a semi-truck traveling on Monroeville Road.
The semi-truck driver, who was hauling sand and on his way to make a delivery, had to make a split-second decision. His choices were to veer hard to the right into a cluster of trees and risk his life or stay the course, hit the brakes and pray for the best for himself and those inside the bus.
The truck driver chose to swerve to the right and crash into the cluster of trees along the side of the county road. The two vehicles did collide, but officials say the truck driver’s decision undoubtedly “saved lives.”
14 Students along with the truck driver where transported to local area hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The trucker was driving for Harrell Trucking based in Elmer, New Jersey. Clinton Harrell, the owner of Harrell Trucking, told NBC10 that the truck driver was a “good driver” with a “clean driving record.”
Harrell was also quick to point out, “He wasn’t worried about himself. He was worried about the kids on the bus.” Harrell said he was proud of his driver because, “He saved ’em. He could have driven through it.”
Police have not yet released the identity of the truck driver or bus driver as the investigation is ongoing.