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11 children injured in Calif. bus accident

Saturday, September 30, 2006

PALMDALE, Calif. -- A 90-year-old motorist went through a red light Friday morning and rammed a school bus hard enough to knock it over, injuring 11 children, authorities said.

One child was in critical condition, and the car's driver was also taken to a hospital, officials said.

The bus was struck while carrying the learning-disabled students to the Palmdale Learning Plaza in the Antelope Valley northeast of Los Angeles, authorities said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Henry Ross said the elderly woman driving a Lincoln Continental failed to stop at a red light and struck the bus broadside.

"For unknown reasons she did not stop for that red light," Ross told KTTV-TV. Her identity was not released and she was not immediately cited.

The injured children ranged in age from 8 to 14. They included a 13-year-old who was pinned in the wreckage and then flown to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles County fire Inspector Jason Hurd said.

Another child had a broken arm and the rest had minor injuries, said Roger Gallizzi, superintendent of the Palmdale School District. The bus driver and a special education assistant received minor injuries.

Classes stayed open but counseling teams were made available, Gallizzi said.

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