2002-03-16 / Front Page

School Bus ‘Accident’ Sends 20 To Hospitals

By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

A school bus bound for PS 215 in Far Rockaway came to a sudden stop to avoid another vehicle, causing minor injuries to at least a dozen students last Tuesday morning.

According to police sources, Mariluz Guzzo of Levittown was driving the bus for Atlantic Express, when she "came to a sudden stop."

The bus driver asked the 32 students on the bus, ranging in age from 7 to 11-years, if anybody was injured. According to the police report, none of the students claimed any injuries.

About 30 minutes after the arrival at school, however, several of the students reported to the assistant principal that they had neck and back pain as a result of the sudden stop.

According to a spokesperson from St. John’s Hospital, where some of the students were treated, "several children who were standing up at the time reported that they had flipped over the seats and hurt their heads."

School administrators immediately brought all of the students who were on the bus to a central location. At that time, approximately 20 students reported minor injuries and the school notified the 911 system.

At the same time, all of the parents were notified.

"The school did everything by the book," says Martin Weinstein, the Deputy Superintendent for District 27. The school did everything that it had to do. It notified EMS, it notified the parents. All of the injuries were minor, but we don’t take chances with the health and safety of our students."

Nine students were transported by EMS to St. John’s Hospital in Far Rockaway and 11 students were taken to Peninsula Hospital Center in Arverne.

An additional 12 children refused medical assistance after examination by EMS personnel and discussion with their parents.

All of the students were treated and released to their parent’s care.

"The ambulance ride was really fun and the doctors are nice," one of the young patients said.

St. John’s Hospital volunteer and pre-med student Andrew Margoles bandages the knee of Ramel Gittens, 10, one of the PS 215 students who sustained minor injuries when the driver stopped short on the way to school last Tuesday.

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