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Girl, 7, seriously hurt in school bus crash on Moanalua Freeway

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:29 a.m. HST, Nov 20, 2013

One child was seriously injured when a school bus carrying more than 40 Kapolei Elementary School first-grade students was struck by another vehicle on Moanalua Freeway westbound early Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

A 7-year-old girl was hospitalized with serious injuries, said Shayne Enright, city Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman. She said the girl was the only serious injury.

Cynthia Otsu, the Kapolei Elementary principal, was at the hospital with the student and reported that the girl sustained a head injury but is expected to make a full recovery, said state Department of Education spokesman Alexandre Da Silva.

All 40 students, ages 5 to 7, aboard the bus were sent to three separate hospitals by EMS as a precautionary step, but none besides the one girl appeared to have sustained any injuries. Four adult teachers and chaperones accompanied them but also did not appear hurt, Enright said.

A woman who was the driver and sole occupant of the Jeep involved in the crash refused treatment, Enright said. She said the driver of the Jeep apparently was dodging possible tire debris from a large truck when the Jeep side-swiped the bus.

The crash happened at the Fort Shafter/Puuloa Road offramp around noon. Honolulu police closed the offramp, but it has since reopened.

The students were part of a group of 90 students who were returning from a field trip to downtown Honolulu earlier Tuesday, Da Silva said. The students on the bus went to visit the Hawaii Supreme Court while those on the other bus went to the state Capitol.

The bus involved belongs to Ground Transport Inc.

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Kapolei student badly hurt in collision

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asianhick wrote:
Why aren't seat belts required on shool buses in Hawaii?
on November 19,2013 | 12:37PM
GeoDiva wrote:
Because we are the same state that allows people older than 12 to ride in the back of a pickup.
on November 19,2013 | 12:41PM
juscasting wrote:
R there seat belts on city buses? Or on light rail, subways, the DC metro, AmtraK train? Rode them all don't recall any either?
on November 19,2013 | 01:38PM
what wrote:
No seat belts, no air conditionin, no new schools. But there's plenty of money to hire a new Third Assistant Deputy Superintendent. Unions want to grow the bureaucracy into a bigger monster, not serve the kids.
on November 19,2013 | 01:54PM
JeffryJay wrote:
my thoughts exactly!!! WHY? Enforce seatbelts in vehicles but not on buses? Especially school buses. As I was told there is nothing for the kids to hang on to if a crash happens. SMH. City & County better enforce better safety rules on ALL vehicles!!
on November 19,2013 | 02:05PM
kahu808 wrote:
Cost is probably a factor and there is no state law requiring them, so it's not a question of enforcement. Let your state rep know you support seatbelts in buses. California requires lap/shoulder belts and New York, New Jersey and Florida require lap belts. Smaller jurisdictions in other states may have seat belt requirements.
on November 19,2013 | 03:22PM
kahu808 wrote:
No, but maybe they should be.
on November 19,2013 | 03:10PM
aomohoa wrote:
It's absolutely ridiculous that there aren't seat belts on buses.
on November 19,2013 | 03:29PM
kahuku01 wrote:
Reaction to make it a bill and make it a law will not get to that level until a child that is related to an elected official, who gets badly hurt or becomes a fatality from riding a school bus without seat belts. The safety of our children by the officials in government is irrelevant when it comes to installing seat belts in all school buses. No funding for such necessity because there are more important nice to have things that the elected officials would prefer to spend our taxpayers dollars. No money and they claim that the bus is big enough to protect the children but not realizing that on impact, bodies would be flying all over. It becomes totally impossible to have kids from not becoming flying objects during an impact of a school bus and another vehicle or fixed objects. Until a drastic situation occurs, concerning requirement of seat belts in school buses, nothing will change and our elected officials will bite their time in government without really pushing for seat belts installed in all school buses in Hawaii. It's not all about what states got them or what states don't have them, they should be concerned about Hawaii's kids safety.
on November 19,2013 | 06:03PM
Hawaiiobserver wrote:
Seatbelts should be a no brainer on a school bus. School buses are so expensive to order for school field trips--they should have seat belts put in.
on November 19,2013 | 10:31PM
gobows wrote:
no money
on November 19,2013 | 01:32PM
aomohoa wrote:
But yet $5 million was wasted on a zipper lane that we are probably not going to get after all. Fat cats bureaucrast can make a fortune to do very little but children don't get seat belts. It's just wrong.
on November 19,2013 | 03:33PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
So, did they track down the truck (I'm assuming) that was spilling the debris?
on November 19,2013 | 02:37PM
geo333 wrote:
Are you kidding me! I dodge that Kerrap everday on the H1 from Kapolei to town. The same truck drivers that don't cover their loads, purchase retread tires, bane together with their fellow truck drivers in order to take up multiple lanes leaving everone else to follow behind them. The right hand lane is meant for slow drivers, truckers and the like, but they could care less.
on November 19,2013 | 04:32PM
nitpikker wrote:
thats what i say..you got semis out there driving around like sports cars. ridiculous.
on November 19,2013 | 10:27PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Even if there was debris on the road, a driver should not be sideswiping an adjacent vehicle. Drivers need to know what is on all sides and make decisions accordingly. In this case, the driver should have slowed down to allow the adjacent bus to go ahead, stop, or slow down and hit the debris. That driver could have killed a lot of kids if the bus overturned or ran off the road.
on November 19,2013 | 05:50PM
none wrote:
Das wea da lanes get naro.
on November 19,2013 | 08:36PM
agumakiki wrote:
SEAT BELT LAW for our young keikis ! ! !
on November 19,2013 | 10:46PM
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