DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Dartmouth police are investigating after a deer hit a school bus Tuesday morning.
Detective Kyle Costa said just after 7 a.m. in the area of 494 Chase Road, a car hit the deer – launching it toward the bus and through the windshield.
As a result, Costa said the bus driver and four students suffered minor injuries. They were transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford.
“It was a chaotic scene. Obviously, with anything like that, it’s a traumatic event for the children and the bus driver,” Costa said. “It’s incredible he was able to maintain control of that bus.”
Zachary Lake, 13, was one of the students on the bus. He said the deer flew through the windshield, sending glass everywhere.
“The deer just went flying through the windshield,” Lake recalled. “I had my backpack on my lap so I didn’t go flying forward. But, there was tons and tons of glass in my bag and in my hood and my hair.”
Tremblay’s Bus Company said the deer landed in the lap of the bus driver, Mark Jardin, who has been with the company since 2014.
“When the deer came through the windshield, my first thought was to get the children off the bus and to a safe place,” Jardin said. “I escorted them into a yard away from traffic and several good Samaritans stopped to help.”
Jardin suffered injuries to his hand that will require surgery.
“Tremblay’s Bus Company is proud of Mark’s quick thinking and concern for the safety and wellbeing of the children on the bus,” Tremblay’s Bus Company said in a statement.
Lake’s mother credited Jardin for staying calm and keeping the kids safe.
“Mark is amazing,” Gillian Lake said. “He was just calm and telling the kids to get out of the bus. I wouldn’t have even parked so neatly on the side of the road. I would have crashed with a deer coming at my face.”
The bus was transported to Tremblay’s Bus Company in New Bedford, where the deer will be removed.
Costa said the Dartmouth Police Department’s traffic division is investigating the crash.