MAHWAH, N.J. -- A school bus driver from Hackensack was charged in connection with a Mahwah crash that sent her and four juveniles to the hospital earlier this week.
Witnesses were interviewed and township Detective Michael Grassi, a certified account reconstructionist, reviewed data from the "black box" on the bus before bringing charges of reckless driving and failing to stop against Maria Pena, 57, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.
Pena blew a stop sign as she turned the northbound Bergen Academies bus from East Crescent Avenue toward Masonicus Road around 5 p.m. Tuesday, Batelli said.
A Lexus driven by a 25-year-old Spring Valley woman on Masonicus hit the rear side of the bus, sending it into a spin, the chief said.
The bus then collided with the Lexus a second time before hitting another car operated by a 66-year-old woman, also on Masonicus Road, he said.
"The school bus then careened out of control and traveled an additional 100 feet easterly in the westbound lane before striking a tree in a head-on impact," Batelli said.
Four youngsters on the bus were taken to local hospitals and were subsequently released, Batelli said Saturday.
Pena was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern with facial injuries, and the driver of the Lexus was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, the chief said.
They, too, had been released, he said.
Mahwah EMS and NJ Mobile Health responded, along with ALS and BLS from The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
HEROES: Mahwah firefighters lowered a colleague onto a stalled hotel elevator before dawn Sunday to rescue two trapped children, officials said.
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