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19 injured in 2-bus collision in N.J.

The mini school bus involved in the accident in Old Bridge, N.J., was not carrying any children.

Mel Evans/associated Press

The mini school bus involved in the accident in Old Bridge, N.J., was not carrying any children.

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. — A New York City-bound commuter bus slammed into a mini school bus Thursday, flipping the school bus on its side and injuring more than a dozen people in the larger vehicle.

The school bus, which wasn’t carrying children, toppled onto a power supply station. The commuter bus went off the road and traveled another 60 yards before hitting a telephone pole and smashing into a tree.

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At least 17 people on the commuter bus were injured, including the driver. The driver of the school bus and a school aide suffered minor injuries. Police said the two climbed out of a roof hatch.

Police were reviewing a video captured by a camera on the commuter bus to help determine what happened, but and official said it appeared the collision occurred ‘‘during a lane change of some sort.’’

The commuter bus driver, Daniel Jean-Pierre, a resident of Barnegat, was hired by Academy in May and has a clean driving record, company spokesman Joe Orlando said. He was seriously injured when his legs were pinned in the bus after it hit the tree, and he was airlifted to a New Brunswick hospital, where he underwent surgery Thursday, Orlando said.

A female passenger on the Academy bus also suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a hospital. Her condition was not immediately known.

Chet Singh, a resident of the apartment complex, said he heard a loud boom and shattering noise from his second-floor apartment and ran outside with other residents.

‘‘Everybody started running out toward the street,’’ he said. ‘‘I saw a huge bus with a tree sticking out of the front. People were screaming. They couldn’t get out of the bus. Then I saw the school bus and ran over there but I saw there were no children in it.’’

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