Students Hurt After Bus Narrowly Avoids Crash

Ten children were taken to the hospital after a school bus made a hard stop on a Lakeside highway Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Rios Canyon Elementary School bus driver, carrying 48 students, had to swerve and stop suddenly when a car tried to turn right onto the 14800 block of Olde Highway 80, about two miles east of Lake Jennings Parkway.

The fast-acting bus driver stopped in time, but the sudden braking sent kids forward in their seats.

"My neck right here hit the seat really hard," said 9-year-old Celeste Lucero.

She was one of ten students taken to Rady Children's and Grossmont hospitals, all for minor neck and head injuries.

Celeste's mother, Kristina, said she was most frustrated with a communication gap after the incident.

"I was very angry that I wasn't call right away," she said. "I was upset and confused. Parents weren't notified."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stands behind its studies that indicate children are just as safe without seat belts on large school buses.

After this mishap, parents are not so sure.

"She hit her neck on the chair in front of her that could have caused some kind of damage, and a seat belt would have prevented that," said Kristina Lucero.

The CHP says the car's driver is at fault, and because the person left the scene, the incident could be considered a hit-and-run, although there was no collision.

Parents soon started arriving at the scene to take their children the rest of the way home.

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