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By LINDSAY OLIVIER
EAST GREENWICH â€“ A Cranston teen driver is being blamed for a mid-afternoon accident Monday involving a Providence recreation bus which sent numerous elementary school-aged children and adults to area hospitals and tied up traffic for hours.
Police and fire personnel responded to Route 4 north in the area of the Quaker Lane overpass in East Greenwich, at 3:13 p.m. for the report of a bus off the road.
Students and parents from the Jewish Community Day School in Providence were returning from a field trip in Newport when a 17 year-old male driving a 1999 Acura, allegedly swerved into the right lane striking the bus, forcing it to careen through the metal guard rail, take out a light pole and stop in the wooded area off the highway.
According to Rhode Island State Police Captain Frank B. Castellone, 26 children and six adults were transported for minor scrapes and bruises. The 62 year-old bus driver, Robert Blue, was ejected from the bus, some 40 feet before the vehicle rested against the trees. He was transported by Warwick rescue to Rhode Island Hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries.
â€śSince the investigation is still ongoing, itâ€™s too premature to say if the juvenile driver will receive any citations,â€ť said Castellone.
In all, 12 rescues responded to the scene including Exeter, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Central Coventry, Hopkins Hill, West Warwick, Warwick and Cranston.
North Kingstown Rescue 3 transported five patients and East Greenwich Rescue 1 transported five children and one adult. Because of the high volume of affected people, other fire apparatuses responded to the scene to help with triage.
The Providence Canteen also responded to the scene to help with extended incident rehab for the first responders.