Montclair’s Edgemont School Students Involved In Bus Crash

UPDATE  4 p.m. Police report three adults and two children were transported to the hospital for minor injuries following today’s school bus crash. The apparent cause: break failure. Full report at the end of this post.

Ambulances are on the scene at Montclair’s Edgemont school, in response to a school bus crash on Berkeley Place.

One student, a girl, who appeared conscious, was taken away by ambulance. The bus, carrying students from Edgemont School, was headed up Berkeley Place toward Upper Mountain Ave when it lost control and hit a car before driving up the front lawn of a Berkeley Place home. Breaking News Network originally reported the school bus accident with multiple injuries; Dr. Anderson, principal, said there were at least 10 parents so far who were asked to sign official reports at the school. Officials on the scene are not releasing info regarding those injured.

Al-Nadir Allen, (left) age 5, says everyone screamed when the bus, which was going up a hill, “started going backwards.” Additional ambulances arrived on the scene from Montclair and Verona.

Kiara Resaji, also 5, said, “The bus crashed in a car and then a house.” Her mother Neobelice said the school called her. They told her there was an accident and that everyone was OK, but she should come pick Kiara up anyway. Neobelice said she signed the necessary forms, but will not be taking Kiara to the hospital.

The children were on their way to a field trip to see Charlotte’s Web when the accident occurred. Mike, father of Archer Manning (bottom left), says he wasn’t overly worried when he got the call from the school, because the first words were “Everything’s OK.” Archer was officially checked out by medical personnel on the scene.

In November 2010, a bus carrying Montclair high school students on a field trip crashed. The bus today was provided by Eagle Rock Bus Company, the same bus company that provided the bus that crashed in November. The hilly street where the crash took place was the scene of another accident last fall.

Official report from the Montclair Police Department:

On 3/8/11 at 11:24 AM, police received a report of a motor vehicle accident in the area of the intersection of North Mountain Avenue and Berkeley Place involving a bus from the Eagle Rock Bus Company. Police spoke to the bus driver, a thirty-six year old female Newark resident, who said that she was driving the bus up the hill at Berkeley Place and Upper Mountain Avenue when she felt the brakes failing on the bus. The bus rolled backwards down the hill and, unable to brake, mounted a curb and struck a fire hydrant, a stop sign, a utility pole and an Acura SUV that had been traveling westbound on Berkeley Place before coming to rest against a tree on the front lawn of a private residence on Berkeley Place.

The driver of the Acura, a forty-three year old female Montclair resident, reported that she was uninjured. The Eagle Rock Bus was carrying fifty students and six adult chaperones at the time of the incident. As of this writing, three adults and two juveniles have been transported to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries, including neck pain, knee pain, and a contusion to the head.

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  1. Thank goodness all the children were okay!!! But WHY would any vehicle larger than a car decide to climb that hill???? My automatic new car rolls back a bit at the top of that one, not to mention how far out one must be to get a clear view of on-coming traffic. That intersection should be totally off limits to all trucks and buses. Deja vu all over again.

  2. Didn’t a truck roll backwards down that same street, smashing into someone’s house and obliterating the kitchen? About a year ago, or two? If I lived on that street, I’d line the property with sand bags.

  3. I was at the scene. The bus lost its breaks and careened backwards. Honestly, the woman driving the bus (who isn’t even named in the article!) is the hero here. This whole scenario could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for her maneuvering. Kudos, unnamed driver!

    And, yes, a truck took out the kitchen of a house on the corner of Berkeley and N. Mountain about a year ago.

  4. Where was the principal?

    Where was the vice principal?

    Where were the teachers?

    God damn it, tenure sucks!!!!

  5. My daughter was one of the 2 girls taken to St. Joe’s ER for further evaluation and she was fine. The teachers and assistants were wonderful. In addition to making sure all the children were off the bus quickly, they consoled them all after this traumatizing event. They were more concerned with the kids feelings than their own health (3 later went to the hospital). The principal (there is no vice principal) ran out of the school to help as soon as she heard. She even telephoned us later that afternoon to see how my daughter was feeling. This was an unfortunate event, but it was handled with the uppermost professionalism and compassion. The school staff and the emergency responders should be commended.

  6. I concur Maria. The principal and teachers were incredibly busy consoling kids and families. Like most of our elementary schools, we don’t have a vice principal. My daughter was in the accident, but wasn’t hurt. Dr. Anderson called the families of all fifty kids last night, to make sure everyone was ok.

  7. I think cro’s comment was aimed somewhere else, maria1 and saras. Have you ever been molecularly reconstituted? Before having the procedure, in what I call my days of dark winter, I might have taken cro’s cue and launched into a long diatribe about evil conspiracy in the classroom and the nation’s moral decrepitude. Lately, however, things have seemed much brighter, as though all of life is back-lit and accompanied by sweet-playing violins. And there are butterflies everywhere.

  8. Ya know, I love all you folks but I am going to stop wasting time doing your research for you if you aren’t going to click my links! Sheesh!

    Truly though, Maria1, I am glad your daughter is OK. Hope the other girl and the staffers are too.

  9. Thank god that the children weren’t injured. That said, I’m more used to reading about this sort of thing in India or South America, you know, the ubiquitous “bus plunge” headlines. But I guess we’re heading in that direction anyway. Berkeley is more suited to a funicular than a school bus route, but the magnet system dictates that the children absolutely need to be shuttled from one end of town to the other. Safety and costs be damned. It probably could have been prevented if one of the drivers that I’ve seen careen down my street were at the wheel. Now these women know how to get up a real head of steam. Anyone that can slalom a school bus, well in excess of the speed limit, down a street past parked cars, casually tossed trash cans, and playing children the way this crew does, would have made short work of that Berkeley hill…probably even caught some air at the top.

  10. What walleroo is trying to say, is:

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    Mi retrovai per una selva oscura,
    che la diritta via era smaritta.

  11. I wonder why the bus would take that street anyway, it’s a bit hazardous! They could have just as easily gone to Van Vleck to go to Upper Mtn. or even better, go straight down Valley and go up Claremont!

  12. Will there be any accountability of this ‘great’ bus vendor we use? This is the second disturbing case of brake failure in less than a year.

  13. This accident was not on a regular bus route. The article clearly states, “The children were on their way to a field trip to see Charlotte’s Web when the accident occurred.”

    Walleroo, I love the new butterfly world you live in. Tweeting cupcakes is the best laugh I have had all week!

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