UT Accident

New Jersey State Police and volunteer firefighters blocked off a portion of Route 9 in Upper Township after a student was hit by a car while boarding a school bus Tuesday morning

Columb Higgins

PETERSBURG – Upper Township Superintendent Vincent Palmieri said Monday that the 14-year-old Ocean City High School student who was hit by a car while crossing Route 9 to get on a school bus was scheduled to be released from the hospital this week.

“It’s pretty miraculous,” Palmieri said at the Jan. 9 reorganization meeting of the Upper Township Board of Education.

Palmieri said the female student was scheduled to be released Tuesday, Jan. 10. He said she suffered a concussion and severe bruising as a result of the accident. He called it a miracle that she did not require further medical assistance.

“I’m glad I am able to give you the good news,” he said. “The parents are appreciative of the well wishes and thoughts.”

The girl, whose name is being withheld by The Gazette, is a freshman at Ocean City High School. She was crossing Route 9 to get on a school bus near West Ocean Avenue in Palermo around 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3 when she was struck by a car heading south. She was thrown into the air and hit the school bus waiting in the northbound lane.

She was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Trauma Center in Atlantic City and then Cooper Medical Trauma Center in Camden.

The 1999 Toyota Corolla was driven by a 17-year-old male, who is also an OCHS student. A 15-year-old female student was a passenger in the car. The driver of the car has been issued summonses for careless driving and passing a school bus while discharging students, according to New Jersey State Police.

Palmieri thanked first responders and state police for their quick actions responding to the accident. He said a resident who lives near the area is a nurse and also came out to help.

“You always try to find a positive out of something like this,” he said.

He said everybody who witnessed the accident, including students on the school bus and the school bus driver, has had access to counseling and a support system. The school bus driver was on the scene for hours, he said, and the Upper Township School District’s transportation supervisor, Beth Hendrickson, went down to support him.

“It’s just as traumatic for the bus driver,” said school board president Michele Barbieri. “The really sad part is this is not new to these drivers.”

“Everybody is doing well now,” Palmieri said of students. “Everybody is back in school.”