7 p.m. Update: GREENWICH, Conn. -- A total of 13 Stanwich School students were sent to the hospital after their bus ran into a "very large tree" shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Greenwich Police said.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Stanwich Road and Pine Ridge Road.
"For a yet to be determined reason, the bus driver swerved across the road and struck a very large tree located on the west side of the road," said police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray. "This collision caused the bus to come to a near-dead stop. No other vehicle was involved in the accident."
The force "caused a significant intrusion into the passenger compartment in the area of the driver’s seat," Gray said. The 74-year-old bus driver suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries. "All the passengers within the vehicle were thrown forward, causing some form of injury," Gray said.
Thirteen Upper School students and the driver were taken to Greenwich Hospital and Stamford Hospital to be treated or observed, according to a statement from the school. Five went to the Greenwich Hospital Emergency Room and nine to the Stamford Hospital Emergency Room.
The students’ injuries ranged from bumps, bruises, and bloody noses to broken bones, police said.
As of 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, nine of the 13 students had been released from the hospital, Head of School Paul G. Geise said in a statement.
"We anticipate that the remaining students will be held overnight for observation, and have been advised that one of the students will be hospitalized for treatment of a broken bone," Geise said on the school's website.
The bus "left the roadway and hit a very large tree," said Gray. "Kids are bounced around, kids are shaken up and kids are scared, but they are not seriously hurt."
The students on the bus were high school age, Gray said.
Police are still trying to determine what led up to the accident, Gray said. The cause was unknown and is under investigation, the school said in a statement.
The students were traveling in a smaller bus/van owned and operated by The Stanwich School, Gray said.
It was taking high school students from the school's campus at 200 Strawberry Hill in Stamford back to the Greenwich campus at 257 Stanwich Road, Gray said.
"Our school psychologist will be at the Stanwich East campus [Thursday] to speak privately with students and faculty," Geise said. "Please join all of us in keeping the students and families in your thoughts and prayers."
The Upper School will be open Thursday, and all events, including commencement, will continue as scheduled, he said.
The Stanwich School is a private, coeducational PK-12 college prep school housed on two campuses. The Lower School (grades Pre-K through 6) are located on 37 acres in midcountry Greenwich. The Upper School (grades 7 through 12) is located five miles east of the main campus in Stamford.
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