Two school buses carrying 6th graders from Yolo Middle School in Newman crashed this morning in Yosemite National Park, and 12 people were taken to a hospital, according to park officials.
None of the injuries was listed as serious. About half the injuries were moderate involving back and neck injuries and half were minor, according to Scott Gediman, a park ranger. Some 15 ambulances transported the victims to John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa, he said.
Twelve students and one adult were transported to John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa.
There were no major injuries. Those transported suffered scraps, bruises, or complained of back or neck pain, Newman Crows Landing Unified School District Superintendent Rick Fauss said.
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Unscathed students are being held at the Valley Visitors Center at the park until those hospitalized are released. All students will return together on the buses., though dDistrict officials will release students to parents who have traveled to Yosemite, Fauss said.
Original plans for a hiking trip are canceled, even for students unharmed.
Fauss said he was on his way to Mariposa at about 1:30 p.m.
He said the buses were carrying 83 sixth-graders, who had earned a hiking trip in Yosemite as part of an incentive program, and 18 adults.
The accident happened as the two buses contracted through First Student Bus Co. were on their way into the park at 10:53 a.m. The bus company was originally reported to be First Street Bus Co.
The accident happened on a downhill stretch near the junction between highways 140 and 120, when one of the buses rear-ended the other, Gediman said.
One of the buses had a broken windshield and First Student Bus Co. dispatched two more buses to pick up the children, Fauss said. He said he expected the two buses to arrive in Yosemite between 1 and 1:30 p.m. and return the children to Newman between 3:30 and 4 p.m.
Yolo Middle School has 196 students in sixth grade, Fauss said.
All parents of students involved were notified through an automated system that sent phone calls or e-mails to parents within a few minutes of the district learning about the crash, he said.