One person was killed and another was injured in a serious crash involving a school bus and a car on Wednesday morning in Mendon, Massachusetts.
Cheryl Drainville, 57, of Bellingham died from injuries sustained during the crash. Richard Drainville, 33, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is in the hospital.
Drainville was the driver of the car.
“The damage was from what I saw really, really – I don’t know how anybody could survive it,” said witness Ed Gidney, choking back tears.
A LifeFlight helicopter was called to the scene of the crash on Route 140 around 8 a.m.
Police said the man driving the car and his mother were taken to UMass Medical Center in Worcester where the woman later died. Their identities have not been released.
“It was almost a head-on, they were turning, the bus was going straight, the bus tried to avoid them, and as they avoided they went farther off to the left, luckily no cars were in the other lane and that’s when they collided,” Mendon Police Chief David Kurczy said.
“I didn’t hear any screeching or anything it was more of a metallic kind of banging crash,” said teacher April Hodge, who lives nearby, “and I saw the end of the school bus and so that’s kind of when panic set in.”
Amazingly, the 16 school-age children on the bus, who were headed to summer camp at a YMCA in Franklin, were not seriously injured.
The bus isn’t equipped with seat belts, and Hodge said some children did fall out of their seats, but aside from some tears they were otherwise fine.
“I did run home and get some Band-Aids and paper towels for little cuts but I didn’t see anything major,” she said.
Neighbors said they’ve seen several crashes here over the past few years because of the tough sight line pulling out of Bates Road.
“People coming out of that road usually have to poke out just a little bit to see the cars coming both ways,” Rudden said.
“My heart goes out, it really does to the families involved and I hope and pray that whoever it is is OK,” Gidney said.
The exact cause of the crash is under investigation.