LINDSEY BLEST | Staff Writer
May 17, 2017 Updated May 17, 2017
Police say more than a dozen people were injured after a hit-and-run driver caused a four-vehicle crash involving a Lancaster Mennonite school bus Wednesday morning in East Lampeter Township.
East Lampeter Township Police Chief John Bowman said 14 students and the bus driver were taken to Lancaster General Hospital. The driver of another car was also injured.
Lancaster General Health spokeswoman Mary Ann Eckard said students taken to LGH were between the ages of 7 and 16.
Eckard said three students were trauma patients and the rest of the injuries were minor.
Just before noon, Eckard said 12 students, the bus driver and the driver of another vehicle were discharged from LGH.
An 8-year-old boy is "very seriously hurt," district attorney's office spokesman Brett Hambright said late Wednesday afternoon.
The boy was airlifted from Lancaster General Hospital to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Another student was transferred to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Eckard said. That child's condition was not available.
The crash happened just before 8 a.m. on Lincoln Highway East just east of Route 896, according to Bowman.
Police described the accident as a hit-and-run and are looking for the driver of the car that left the scene.
Bowman described the car as a white sedan, possibly newer, with front end damage. Bowman said the male driver has short hair. Police have no license plate information.
"There’s a very good possibility that this vehicle, as it was traveling eastbound prior to the accident scene, may have been passing other vehicles," Bowman said.
Bowman said the eastbound car tried to pass a tractor-trailer carrying an over-sized load and the rig's escort car, also traveling east. It hit the escort car and set off a "chain-reaction accident," Bowman said.
The escort car hit the tractor-trailer and then the westbound school bus, he said. The impact caused the bus to roll, pinning one child underneath, officials said.
The bus was carrying 12 high school students, one middle school student and one Locust Grove elementary student, according to Lancaster Mennonite spokesman Gary Hiller.
The students had been picked up at four locations in Chester County, and the bus was going to drop them off at the main campus at 2176 Lincoln Highway East, about a mile from the accident.
Police said late Wednesday afternoon they were continuing to search for the driver of the sedan and said they will provide an update on the investigation Thursday morning. Anyone with information should contact East Lampeter Township police at 717-291-4676.
An email describing the crash was sent to Lancaster Mennonite school parents, Hiller said.
"Our focus has been on the physical and emotional well-being of our students rather than the cause and who is responsible," Hiller said. "We express concern for the two who are still in the hospital."