YOSEMITE -- Twelve children from Newman's Yolo Middle School and an adult were injured Thursday in a bus crash during a sixth-grade day trip to Yosemite National Park.
None of the injuries was listed as serious. About half the injuries were moderate with complaints of back and neck pain, and half were minor, according to Scott Gediman, a park ranger.
Two buses were carrying 100 people along Highway 120 in the park when one bus rear-ended another that had slowed for traffic, said Gary Wuchner, a park field information officer.
There were 51 students, parents and teachers on one bus and 49 on the other bus. The buses carried 76 students in all.
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The 13 injured people were taken to a clinic in the park, Mercy Community Medical Center in Merced, John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa and Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
The most seriously injured child was a girl with a bump on her chin, said Rick Fauss, superintendent of the 2,700-student Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District.
The accident occurred on Highway 120 about a mile west of where Highways 120 and 140 meet, about seven miles from Yosemite Village, Wuchner said.
Brooke Rocha, 12, was on the first bus. After the crash, she was the first student to be taken away in an ambulance.
"I had a bad case of whiplash," she said after arriving back at her school Thursday night. "My neck is just sore now."
Brooke was carried out of the bus after medics put braces on her to immobilize her neck and torso. She was taken to the hospital in Mariposa.
After learning of the accident, her father, Randy Rocha, 41, drove to the hospital and picked up his daughter after she was treated and released.
After they got home, they came to the middle school so they could greet her classmates when they returned at 8:25 p.m. on two buses that were sent to Mariposa County to pick up the rest of the students and adults.
While waiting for her friends, she explained the day's ordeal.
She and her mother, Kathy Rocha, 41, were on the lead bus. As it came around a curve, the driver saw several vehicles stopped. The driver started honking and braking hard. The lead bus stopped a few feet from the cars ahead, but the second bus couldn't stop in time.
Kathy Rocha was able to brace herself and wasn't injured, her daughter said.
"They were just kind of shocked," she said of the others on the buses. "Nobody was screaming. I'm just glad nothing else happened."
It was Brooke's first trip to Yosemite.
"The kids are a little disappointed," Randy Rocha said. "The bottom line is that no one was injured."
Parents were notified about the accident through an automated system that sent calls or e-mails to parents a few minutes after district officials learned about the crash, he said.
The only parent personally notified was that of the child who bumped her chin, Fauss said.
Neither bus driver was cited. Ohio-based First Student Inc., a company that has more than 62,000 buses in its fleet and operates in 39 states, has put one of the drivers on suspension.
The students who weren't taken to hospitals eventually made it to Yosemite Valley, where they had lunch and went on a 40-minute hike, student Alma Gallegos, 14, said. The students did that while they waited for replacement buses.
First Student said drivers pass extensive tests, physical exams and background tests.
Newman boasts on its city Web site that it is known for having California's first school bus, a converted 1916 Ford Model T.