Two Platt Tech students and the school bus driver transporting them to Milford were injured after a bus filled with students from Bridgeport heading northbound on I-95 was hit with flying ice off a tractor-trailer truck, smashing the driver's side windshield.
Stratford fire and EMS responded to a state police request for assistance northbound on the Moses Wheeler Bridge spanning the Housatonic River on I-95 at about 9:15 a.m. Thursday after a report of ice smashing through the driver's side windshield and striking the driver.
According to Platt Tech Principal Gene LaPorta, two Platt Tech students from Bridgeport were transported by ambulance to a local hospital from the scene, neither in serious condition.
"I was in the ambulance with one student who was hit by flying glass," LaPorta said late this morning. "I asked her how she was doing and she said, 'Fine,' and I saw no visible injury."
A second student, a male, complained of back pain and was taken away on a special stretcher from the scene. LaPorta said, "He reported some back pain."
Both were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Meanwhile, LaPorta said,"the bus driver took it in the face" as flying ice smashed the driver's side windshield. Despite his injuries, he was able to bring the bus to a safe stop without further incident.
"It's amazing to me what the driver was able to do," LaPorta said. "He did a great job, and how he was able to keep the vehicle steady and was able to avoid a collateral accident with other vehicles traveling at that speed on the highway was simply amazing."
The driver's condition was unknown at this posting.
The bus, owned by WeTransport LLC, was able to leave the scene on its own power. A second bus was brought to the scene on the bridge, as traffic was delayed for about 45 minutes, and transported the remaining Bridgeport students to Platt Tech safely.
LaPorta said all the students who arrived at school after the accident signed in and went to class normally. All students were offered counseling and one student, he said, did talk to a school staff person and "seemed OK afterward."
The high school principal also commented about the origin of the accident. "The driver reported that ice flew off the top of a tractor-trailer driving in front of the bus.
"These drivers are supposed to take care of this and remove snow and ice from the tops of their trailers," LaPorta said. "This could have been a real tragedy."