Eight children hospitalised after school bus crash in Donegal

Injured pupils since discharged after incident near Carrickmore in St Johnston

The scene near Carrickmore, St Johnston, Co Donegal where a van collided with a school bus. Photograph: North West Newspix

The scene near Carrickmore, St Johnston, Co Donegal where a van collided with a school bus. Photograph: North West Newspix

 

Ten people including eight schoolchildren were taken to hospital following a crash between a van and a school bus in Co Donegal.

The incident happened just after 8.15am near Carrickmore in St Johnston.

The children were all on their way to school in the Raphoe area when the incident occurred. Up to 20 children were onboard the 53-seater coach.

None of those injured were understood to be seriously hurt. Both the driver of the bus and the van driver were among those taken to hospital.

Parents of the eight children hospitalised were all informed. All injured pupils have since been discharged.

Garda Insp Michael Harrison appealed to any witnesses in the area to come forward.

Collision investigators attended the scene of the crash on the outskirts of the village of Porthall.

Mr Harrison said: “A total of eight children and two drivers have been taken to hospital, but thankfully none of the injuries are serious.

“This accident could have been much worse and we are now investigating the cause of this accident. We would appeal to anybody who may have witnessed the accident to get in contact with gardaí.”

Donegal Education and Training Board said the bus had been taking students to Deele College in Raphoe and the Royal and Prior Comprehensive when it was involved in the incident in the St Johnston area.

Sixteen students from Deele College were on the bus at the time. Those who were not taken to hospital either travelled on to the college or went home with parents.

Special room set up

Following the incident a special room was set up in Deele College for students and their families, and some members of staff travelled to the hospital to be with the injured students. School principal Joe Boyle attended the scene of the incident.

Donegal ETB senior educational psychologist Martin Gallen offered advice and guidance to students.

Dr Martin Gormley, director of schools at Donegal ETB, said: “We are relieved to hear that there were no major injuries to the students of Deele College or the Royal and Prior Comprehensive, Raphoe. The priority for the management and staff was the wellbeing and welfare of the students and their families at this worrying time.

“Donegal ETB wish to compliment the emergency services and the school staff on their response to the critical incident. We are keeping the school community of Deele College updated and we now wish the students a speedy recovery following the accident. We also extend our best wishes to both drivers in their recovery period.”

Dr Gormley also said students or families with particular concerns should contact the school immediately.

Along with Mr Boyle, Dr Howard Welch, of The Royal and Prior Comprehensive School, thanked the emergency response teams, Garda, Ambulance Service and the Donegal Fire Services and the staff of Letterkenny University Hospital “for their professionalism, care and concern showed towards the students involved in the accident”.

Additional reporting: PA