Student sustains foot injury in school bus incident in Hartford

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/3/2022 11:04:01 PM
Modified: 9/3/2022 11:00:21 PM

HARTFORD — A middle school student is recovering after a foot injury from a school bus incident on Friday afternoon on Route 4 in Hartford, police said.

The bus hit the student as she was getting off at about 3:45 p.m. Friday, Hartford Police Sgt. Daniel Solomita, the second officer on the scene at 1977 Woodstock Road, said Saturday. The driver told police he thought the student was fully off the bus at time and he was checking his mirrors to see that the other children were seated around the time of the incident, Solomita said.

The “bus eventually preceded on its route prematurely,” Solomita said.

Solomita, who directed Friday afternoon traffic at the scene near Casella Waste Systems location on Route 4 in order to prevent a secondary incident, said he could hear that the child was in pain from her injury.

“It was awful,” he said.

The student was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, according to a Saturday morning news release from the police. The other students on the bus were transferred onto a second bus to continue on the route. Solomita said the scene was cleared by 4:25 p.m.

Hartford Superintendent Tom DeBalsi said Saturday that he had been in touch with the middle-school-age student’s parent and she was at home recovering with her family.

“Right now, we are most concerned for the student’s well-being and extremely remorseful that this accident occurred,” DeBalsi said. “I will be meeting with the bus company, Butler’s Transportation, early next week to determine why this most unfortunate event occurred and how to make sure our students’ safety on their buses is the primary focus.”

A message left at Butler’s White River Junction number was not returned by deadline Saturday, nor were email messages.

The cause of the incident has not been determined at this time, according to the police news release. Solomita said he didn’t expect criminal charges out of the incident. He described it as “a very tragic mistake” and said, “there was no intent whatsoever.”

While school buses sometimes are involved in fender benders, Solomita said this was the first incident of its kind he’s seen in 10½ years of policing.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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