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5 Injured in Tunbridge Bus Crash

A Tunbridge firefighter watches as a school bus is pulled away by a tow truck after the bus slid into a ditch on Strafford Road in Tunbridge yesterday. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)

A Tunbridge firefighter watches as a school bus is pulled away by a tow truck after the bus slid into a ditch on Strafford Road in Tunbridge yesterday. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »

Tunbridge — Five children were hospitalized yesterday afternoon when a school bus tipped over on Strafford Road.

Students from the Tunbridge Central School were transported to Gifford Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. None of their injuries were life threatening, according to state police.

The driver of the bus, 63-year-old George Braley, of Post Mills, Vt., was driving around a snow covered curve when he lost control of the bus, according to state police. When police arrived a little after 3 p.m., they found the bus on its side in a ditch.

The district contracts with Butler’s Bus Service of Orleans, Vt., for its transportation. There were 20 students on the bus, and Principal Rick Talbot went to the scene as soon as he heard about the accident.

Meanwhile, as EMTs were assisting students, the district discovered that the phone lines at the K-8 Tunbridge Central School were not working. David Bickford, superintendent of Orange Windsor Supervisory Union, repeatedly tried to touch base with the school, but continued to get a busy signal, so he sent a secretary to the school. From there, Bickford and administrators communicated by cell phone. Bickford said he and other administrators worked to contact parents.

John Durkee, the Tunbridge fire chief, said that the remaining children were picked up at the scene by their parents. Durkee said that the kids were pretty shaken up. When the bus was towed away, there were several broken windows and there was damage to the roof and driver’s side of the bus.

The Department of Motor Vehicles sent an inspector to the scene to investigate. The crash is still under investigation.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.