8 hospitalized after school bus crash in Lake Elsinore

LAKE ELSINORE — Eight people, including six juveniles, were hospitalized after a two vehicle crash between a school bus and passenger van in Lake Elsinore this morning, Friday, Dec. 13. The accident, which involved two drivers and thirteen passengers and resulted in two people seriously injured according to officials, happened at the intersection of Grand Ave. and Morrow Way, in front of the old Elsinore Naval and Military School.


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CHP officers, along with Riverside County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene of the crash around 7:30 a.m., after receiving reports that two vehicles had wrecked. 911 callers reported numerous juveniles were inside the bus and van at the time of the crash and that two victims inside the van were trapped inside their vehicle.

When officials arrived they found an 84-passenger bus and a white Chevy van blocking the roadway and intersection. Several witnesses and good Samaritans were at the scene providing aid and comfort to the distraught children and others who had been involved in the crash.

Officials work at the scene of a two-vehicle crash involving a school bus. The accident sent eight people to the hospital for treatment.

Firefighters quickly determined the driver and a juvenile passenger inside the Chevy van were trapped and needed to be extricated from their vehicle. Officials also found the driver of the school bus was seriously injured and medical personnel at the scene began evaluating and treating her and the others injured in the collision.

“One adult and a child in the van were trapped in the wreckage and needed the assistance of firefighters to get out,” CHP Officer Mike Lassig later explained. Those two, along with two other children in the van and the driver of the school bus, were among those injured.

Eight victims were ultimately transported to area hospitals by ground ambulances; including two with serious injuries, two with moderate injuries, and four with minor injuries, according to a Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department social media release. Seven other students who were uninjured in the collision were eventually  released to school district officials.

During their subsequent crash investigation, officers determined the school bus was traveling southbound on Grand Ave. just before the collision. At the same time, the Chevy van was stopped at a stop sign on Morro Way.

“As that school bus was approaching Morro Way, the van, according to witnesses, pulled out in front of the school bus and a collision occurred,” Lassig later explained; saying the accident investigation is active and ongoing at this time.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.


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