Hamburg police are continuing their investigation of an accident in which a Blasdell woman lost control of her car and collided with a school bus Monday, sending five children on the bus to hospitals.
Laurie Smith, 33, the driver of the car, suffered head injuries and was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center after the accident at 7:30 a.m. on Camp Road, near Elmview Avenue.
She was listed in fair condition today in ECMC. The three children with her in the car, ages 6, 8 and 11, were taken to Children's Hospital with minor injuries.
The names of the five pupils sent to Children's Hospital and Mercy Hospital for treatment or observation were withheld, but police said none suffered life-threatening injuries. Another 11 middle school pupils were treated at Hamburg Middle School.
Lt. Steve Mikac said there are still some discrepancies in accounts of the accident and no charges have been filed as the investigation continues. He said he didn't believe speed was a factor.
Lt. Michael Williams credited the 64-year-old driver of the school bus with calming the children and assisting the injured after the accident.
Police said the school bus carrying 32 pupils was traveling south on Camp Road and Smith's vehicle was traveling north when she crossed the double yellow line and collided with the bus.
Michael P. Hughes, spokesman for Rural/Metro Ambulance, said it wasn't really a head-on collision. He said he noted damage to both the right front side of the car and its rear and speculated that this is why police are still trying to piece things together. He said the bus had lesser damage, mostly to its front quarter-panel.
"If the collision had been of greater impact," Hughes added, "the injuries would have been a lot worse."
Police reportedly are also exploring the possibility that ice on the road and the morning sunshine might have hampered the driver of the car, causing her to cross into the oncoming lane.
The Scranton Volunteer Fire Department assisted with assessing the children's injuries.