Seven children were taken to hospital with leg and back injuries Thursday after a tanker truck rear-ended a school bus west of Toronto.
The incident happened at around 8 a.m. at the intersection of Steeles Avenue and Sixth Line in Hornby, Ont., near Highway 401 and Trafalgar Road.
Police said the school bus was stopped with its overhead flashing lights activated, stop arm extended and was about to pick up two students at a home on Steeles Avenue when it was hit from behind by the tanker.
The driver of the tanker sounded his air horn to alert the pedestrians of the impending collision. Police said the two students were pulled to safety by their mother when it was clear the truck was not going to stop.
The 58-year-old Orangeville man was not injured in the collision and remained at the scene. No charges have been laid. The tanker was loaded with diesel fuel and police said it was not compromised in the collision.
Police said there were nine school children aged five to 10 years old aboard the bus when it was struck.
Two of the injured children were transported to McMaster Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while five others were transported to Milton District Hospital with minor injuries along with the school bus driver.
“The worst injuries we’re dealing with and that have been confirmed is possibly a broken ankle and or a concussion which is reasonable to expect given the mechanism of the collision that occurred,” said Sgt. Ryan Snow of the Halton Regional Police’s traffic services.
Snow also said that the bus was equipped with some seatbelts, but added they were not in use at the time of the collision.
“While there are some seats on the bus that are equipped with seatbelts, seatbelt use is not mandated on school buses so I cannot tell you if they were in fact being used,” he said.
Police said a collision reconstruction team is investigating and the roadway was closed for several hours.
Witnesses to the collision are asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905 825-4747 extension 5065 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), online at http://www.haltoncrimestoppers.com, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).