14 Jun 2021

Students left shaken after school bus collides with van

12:38 pm on 14 June 2021

A Taranaki high school principal says a number of his students are being monitored after suffering minor injuries when their school bus collided with a van on State Highway 3 near Ngaere this morning.

Unexplained death in Taita, Lower Hutt early on Sunday 26th January 2020.  A Police cordon and crime scene invetsigation tent were in place Monday 27th January 2020.

State Highway 3 was closed this morning. Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

The 22-year-old driver of the van was seriously injured. He is being assessed at the Emergency Department at the Taranaki Base Hospital in New Plymouth and is in a stable condition.

Francis Douglas Memorial College principal Tim Tuck said between 20 and 30 students were travelling into New Plymouth on the bus from Hāwera.

Tuck said the students from the New Plymouth Catholic boys high school have had quite a shock.

"There's a few minor injuries but all are in hand and the majority have gone back into class. We'll continue to monitor them over the course of today and ongoing this week and further," he said.

"There were definitely a few boys who were shaken up and those boys have obviously requested to go to guidance, etc or the matron regarding their well-being."

Tuck said the school's thoughts and prayers with the injured van driver and driver of the bus.

A spokesperson for Tranzit confirmed the bus involved in the accident was one of its charter buses.

"I can tell you that there are no injuries to our passengers and no injuries to our driver, which is a huge relief and our thoughts go out to everyone involved. Our passengers were transferred onto another bus and taken to school and our regional manager is visiting with the school to offer support."

As information was still being gathered about the accident the company was unable to comment further.

Police said it was notified at about the accident on Mountain Rd at Ngaere at about 7.30am. The road was closed for several hours but police were able to reopen State Highway 3 shortly before midday.