New Jersey school bus driver dies after medical emergency, crash

Submitted by New Jersey School Bus Crash Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

The driver of an occupied school bus died Wednesday after suffering an apparent medical condition and crashing in New Jersey.

The accident happened just after 3 p.m. on Zaitz Farm Road in West Windsor.

Authorities say the driver, whose name has not been released, had a medical issue that caused the vehicle to leave the roadway. It struck a tree branch and then another tree before coming to a stop partially off of the roadway.

(NJ Advanced Media)

There were seven West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South students on board the bus at the time.

“A girl and a boy who were also on the bus tried to ensure that he was back on the seat,” student Sanjana Marepally said. “And we didn’t have much control there, and he kind of fell off. So I reached over and put it in park and took the keys out.”

Several of them attempted to help the driver.

“We were asking him, ‘Do you know where you are? Do you know what’s happening?'” Marepally said. “And he was like, ‘Yes, I’m a bus driver. I’m diabetic.’ So I think he knew what was happening, and I think he was doing the best he could in the sitaution that he was put in.”

The driver was said to be alert and conscious as good Samaritans rushed to the scene.

“His eyes were all rolled,” parent Raj Datta said. “He was turning all blue. He was still mumbling a few things, and we thought maybe it’s diabetic. So I fed him some sugar hoping that he’d try to revive from that.”

He was rushed to the University Medical Center at Princeton Plainsboro, where he later died at the hospital. The exact type of medical emergency has not been released.

Students and parents said it appeared the driver was attempting to crash in the safest way possible to protect his passengers.

“Even in his last moments, he did a very heroic job of trying to save these kids,” Datta said. “If it wasn’t for him doing this, God knows what state I’d be in today.”

A 14-year-old female student reported pain to her wrist and hand area but declined any medical attention at the scene, and no other injuries were reported.

The school bus sustained minor damage from the crash.

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Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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