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Wayward bus leaves trail of damage

A wayward school bus sideswiped four cars and another school bus Wednesday morning while traveling south on Eggert Road before rolling up on the curb and striking a telephone pole near Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

Neither the driver of the school bus nor anyone else was reported injured in the accident, though several vehicles were extensively damaged, according to Town of Tonawanda police Lt. Darren Benevento.

The unidentified driver of the school bus apparently had a medical problem that rendered him unable to control the vehicle, Benevento said. There were no students on the Laidlaw school bus, nor were there any students on the bus that was sideswiped.

Williamsville School District spokeswoman Rita Wolff said the district has a contract with Laidlaw Inc., which owns the bus.

"It was assigned to a Transit Middle [School] run, but the bus driver never made his run," Wolff said Wednesday. "There were no students on the bus, so no children were involved at all."

Town of Tonawanda police said the school bus was seen traveling out of control at about 9 a.m. as it was headed southeast on Eggert Road in the town. Town of Tonawanda Police Officer Scott Zenosky first noticed the bus when he was monitoring speed on Eggert Road.

"The bus was out of control, and [Zenosky] called it in," said Benevento. Zenosky "cleared the way for the bus the best he could to keep other traffic out of the way."

Benevento said the school bus continued traveling down Eggert Road until it finally rolled up on a curb just east of Sheridan Drive and struck a telephone pole.

"That's when the bus stopped and Officer Zenosky approached the bus," Benevento said. "Apparently, that's when the [bus driver] said he was diabetic."

One of the vehicles that was struck was a sport utility vehicle driven by Charles Anzalone of West Amherst. The force of the collision caused Anzalone's SUV to roll over. He was not seriously injured.

When reached at home late Wednesday, Anzalone said he went to an area hospital to be checked out and returned home later in the day.

The extent of the damage to the school bus and the five other vehicles was not available Wednesday. No charges have been filed in connection with the accident.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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