A student and a teacher were killed and more than 40 children and adults were injured Thursday morning when a school bus taking fifth graders on a field trip in New Jersey collided with a dump truck.
CBS News reports that the crash ripped the bus apart and knocked it on its side. The body of the bus came completely off its chassis and was resting on its side in the highway median.
There were 38 students and seven adults on the bus including the driver, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. A total of 43 people of those 45 were injured and transported to hospitals for treatment, he said.
"I have never seen anything like that. I can only describe it as horrific," said Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum.
The bus was carrying fifth-grade students from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, N.J. They were on a field trip to Waterloo Village, which depicts a Lenape Indian community.
Some of the victims in the crash crawled out of the emergency exit in the back of the bus and an escape hatch on the roof. Some children were still inside the bus when first responders arrived, according to Jeff Paul, director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.
"We had patients laying all over the median and on the interstate," Paul says. "There were all kinds of injuries, every injury type you could expect in a crash of his magnitude."
Students riding two other buses on the field trip returned to the school Thursday morning and were reunited with their parents.
The front end of the dump truck involved in the crash was mangled, and the condition of the truck driver wasn't known.
Police did not immediately comment on the cause of the crash. Mendez trucks have been in seven crashes in the last two years, none of them fatal, according to FMCSA.
Those injured in the crash were taken to several area hospitals, but details of the extent of their injuries had not been released.