NEW YORK – Two school districts in Westchester County are mobilizing crisis teams – and asking for help – following an accident involving a teenage driver without a license and a school bus that left three students fighting for their lives a day ago.
Nine people were injured in the crash on Wednesday afternoon on Lake Road in the town of New Castle, police said. That tally includes four Fox Lane High School students, all but one of whom were hospitalized in critical condition.
Investigators say a 16-year-old Bedford Hills youth who did not have a driver’s license was driving a Honda Accord with three passengers in tow when he lost control in a turn. He veered into oncoming traffic lanes and crashed head-on into the school bus, police said.
He was one of three seriously injured students hospitalized. No one on the school bus, which had five people on board, was seriously injured. The identities have not been officially revealed.
Family members of the three most injured students set up GoFundMe pages after the accident, with a woman identifying herself as Kaitlynn saying one of the victims, a junior, is on a ventilator after suffering a brain haemorrhage and a collapse of the lungs. He also said he had two broken legs and spent five hours in surgery on Wednesday.
Another woman who identified herself as the Accord driver’s older sister has confirmed that it was he who collided with the bus, saying he suffered a broken neck, spinal cord and leg , among other horrific injuries.
A Dunkin’ Donuts lover who works at a local pizzeria, the teenage driver is also on a ventilator, the sister said.
“It’s devastating,” he wrote on his GoFundMe page, “but all we have left is faith that he’ll make it out alive. All we’re asking for is time and space.”
The third seriously injured student is 17 and a woman who identified herself as her sister also called for help. She said the three boys had been friends since they were children and her family struggled to understand what had happened.
“He is still the go-to friend for the rest of the kids who spend time with us,” the sister wrote, saying she now suffered from brain haemorrhage, fractured femur, spinal injuries spine and a ruptured spleen. “He is currently on a ventilator which is helping him. Now he is just a little boy fighting for his life. We ask everyone to keep other families and ours in mind and pray for our children and to help our children out”. of this together.”
Hundreds of people had donated a combined total of more than $84,000 to the Three Boys’ Pages by Thursday afternoon.
The Fox Lane campus was due to have limited access on Thursday. Meanwhile, local school district superintendents have expressed support for their communities and said they will provide additional information as it becomes available.
“Our thoughts are with our entire community at this difficult time,” Dr. Rob Glass, superintendent of the Bedford Central School District, which includes Fox Lane High School, said Thursday. “Counsellors and doctors are on hand for students and staff in all of our buildings who need help.”
The Yorktown Central School District, whose school bus was involved in the accident, said its thoughts are with the victims as well. Authorities said five people – two high school students, a driver and two monitors – were on the bus.
“We look forward to a speedy recovery for our students, drivers and instructors,” Yorktown’s statement read. “At this time, the district is unable to comment further as this remains an open law enforcement matter.”
It is not known how and why the driver lost control of the sedan he was driving. Police did not say whether the driver had a learner’s permit, which would have allowed him to be on local roads as long as there was a passenger aged at least 21 in the car. There does not appear to be anyone of legal age in the vehicle, according to the school district statement.
Wednesday’s accident was the second accident involving an unlicensed driver in Westchester County in months. Five children died in this late March incident on Hutchinson River Parkway, the youngest being just 8 years old. Only a 9-year-old boy survived this accident. A 16-year-old was also behind the wheel in this case.
A message about possible new enforcement measures and policies was left with the Westchester County District Attorney’s office on Thursday. Police said his office was also involved in the New Castle investigation.