Update: This post has been updated throughout.
A Long island driver allegedly high on drugs crashed into a bus carrying disabled children this morning. The driver’s Jeep crossed over the yellow line at 1345 Connetquot Avenue in Central Islip just after 8 a.m., colliding with the bus and causing both vehicles to burst into flames. There were five aboard the bus–the driver, two wheelchair-bound children, and two matrons attending to them.
Witnesses at the scene describe the bus driver shepherding the children, two five-year-old boys, off the bus just before both of the vehicles caught fire, according to NBC New York.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) September 18, 2013
Bill Leonardi, CEO of AHRC, the advocacy group that runs Seif Educare Center (the school in Bohemia the crash victims attend), said the kids aboard the bus were sent to Southside Hospital but were totally unharmed.
“We had a social worker who went to the hospital who met with the children and their families,” Leonardi told Runnin’ Scared. “As the social worker was leaving the hospital, both children were being prepared for discharge.”
Tom McAteer, Executive Vice President of Suffolk Transporation, told Runnin’ Scared the bus driver had 40 years of driving experience and was trained in defensive driving.
“By swerving the way that she did she avoided a head-on collision,” noted McAteer.
While McAteer was unable to provide the identity of the bus driver citing company confidentiality policy, he did say that she was unharmed in accident, despite earlier reports of injury.
The driver responsible for the crash was arrested at the scene and charged with DWI, according to Suffolk County Police. She has been identified as 29-year-old Tyajia Anthony. Anthony will be arraigned September 19.
Here’s a streetview of where the accident occurred: