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School bus crashes leave 2 dead, dozens hurt

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Investigators examined the site of a fatal bus crash in Indianapolis Monday. The driver and a 5-year-old student were killed.

INDIANAPOLIS - Two people were killed and dozens injured Monday in school bus crashes in Indiana and Washington state, officials said.

In Indianapolis, a bus making its morning rounds slammed into a railroad bridge, ripping apart the driver’s section and sending crying children scrambling to escape.

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A 5-year-old girl and the driver were killed and two other students were critically injured, authorities said.

The crash happened just before sunrise after rain showers had moved through the area, but authorities did not know what caused the bus to crash into the concrete pillar in the middle of a city street. They were awaiting autopsy results on the 60-year-old driver.

Also Monday, a school bus in Washington overturned on a highway, injuring dozens of students, including three seriously. The bus veered off the road, overcorrected, and rolled on Highway 281 just south of Quincy, an agricultural region about 120 miles east of Seattle, officials said.

Lieutenant Scott Martin of the Washington State Patrol said the cause of that crash also was under investigation. Roads were bare and dry at the time.

Mitch Gibboney, a witness to the Indianapolis crash, said he was on his way to work at a nearby trucking company around 7:45 a.m. Monday when he saw smoke coming from under the bridge. Because it was dark, he didn’t realize until he got there that the smoke was coming from the bus.

Gibboney helped lead some children out a side door near the middle of the bus. Other passersby also rushed to help. “They were shaken up and bruised and a little bit bleeding,’’ he said.

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