26 May 2010

Five injured in school van crash near Cambridge

8:14 pm on 26 May 2010

Five people have been injured in a crash involving a minivan full of school children near Cambridge.

A teacher was transporting nine students in the van and crashed into a tree after apparently losing control on a wet road at Maungatautiri about 12.30pm on Wednesday.

The van from Te Kura O Te Kaokaoroa O Patetere school in Putaruru was part of a convoy returning from a funeral when it left the road and travelled about 30 metres across grass before hitting the tree.

The 39-year-old driver was trapped for more than half an hour and suffered serious leg injuries and blood loss. He was taken to Waikato Hospital and is in a comfortable condition on Wednesday night.

Four students were also taken to hospitals in Waikato and Tokoroa with more minor injuries and have been discharged. Principal Keith Silveria says the remaining five students were not hurt.

Mr Silveira says conditions at the time of the crash were wet and foggy, but the teacher is an experienced driver. He says the students' ages range from seven to 18.