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

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:29 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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