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Old Bridge Police: Cause of Route 9 Bus Accident Remains Under Investigation

An accident involving a commuter bus and a school bus injured 35 people Thursday morning.


Update 5:45 p.m.

Thirty-five people were reported injured after an Academy commuter bus and an Old Bridge school bus collided on Route 9 North in Old Bridge Township Thursday morning, according to Cpt. Art Carullo. The accident was reported to police at 8:18 a.m.

No children were on the medium-sized school bus at the time of the accident, he said.

The school bus was traveling in the right lane of the highway and turning right into the Stratford Apartments on Arcade Lane when the accident occurred. The Academy bus, identified as bus number 8592, was traveling in the designated bus lane.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation and no fault has been determined, Carullo said. 

When the two buses struck, the school bus rolled and came to rest on top of a generator, power switch station and sewage station, he explained. The Academy bus continued off of the roadway, took out several street signs, grazed a utility pole coming to a stop when it struck a large tree. 

Only two people were on the school bus, the driver and an aid. Both women were able to climb out of the safety hatch on the roof of the bus, Carullo said. 

The driver of the Academy bus had to be extricated from the vehicle and was medevaced to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in serious condition. A second accident victim, also in serious condition, was transported by ambulance to the hospital, Carullo said.

Although both were injured seriously, Carullo said, neither are believed to be life threatening.

Carullo said he is unable to release the identity of victims at this time. NJ.com is reporting that the driver of the Academy bus is Daniel Jean-Pierre, 42, of Barnegat. He was listed in critical condition along with a 31-year-old female passenger.

About six or seven other people reported moderate injuries, such as broken bones and lacerations, Carullo said. The remainder of the reported injuries were minor.  

The commuter bus previously stopped in Lakewood, he explained. Academy spokesperson Joe Orlando told News 12 that the bus originated in Toms River and likely also stopped in Howell and Freehold.

The accident closed Route 9 in both directions for about two hours. At about 10:30 a.m., the left lane of Route 9 North and all lanes of Route 9 South were reopened.

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Update 4:40 p.m.: The driver of the Academy bus involved in the accident is Daniel Jean-Pierre, 42, of Barnegat, NJ.com is reporting. He was listed in critical condition along with a 31-year-old female passenger.

Update 10:49 a.m.: The left lane of Route 9 North and all lanes of Route 9 South have reopened.

Update: 10:40 a.m.: Academy spokesperson Joe Orlando told News 12 that the bus originated in Toms River and likely made stops in Lakewood, Howell and Freehold.

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About 36 people are believed to be injured after an accident involving an Academy commuter bus on Route 9 North in Old Bridge Township on Thursday morning, according to Marlboro Police Cpt. Steve Menonna. 

The stretch of highway, which is traveled heavily by commuters, is closed in both directions as emergency personnel from all surrounding municipalities respond to the scene, Menonna explained. New Jersey State Police are also on the scene.

The accident occurred this morning in the vicinity of ShopRite of Old Bridge. There is a NJ TRANSIT Park & Ride bus station in front of ShopRite however NJ TRANSIT officials say none of their vehicles were involved in the crash. 

It is unclear at this time exactly how severe the injuries are, how many vehicles were involved and when Route 9 North will reopen.

CBS New York reports that aerial footage shows a commuter Academy bus crashed into a school bus, but no children are believed to have been on board the school bus at the time of the accident.

The Academy bus driver was still trapped in the vehicle at of 9:30 a.m., News 12 reported on its broadcast. NJ101.5 reported on their broadcast that as of 9:40 a.m., the driver has been removed from the vehicle and will be airlifted to the hospital.

Raritan Bay Medical Center spokesperson Eric Munch told News 12 that they had received six patients who were in stable condition. The hospital expected to receive more patients, Munch said during the broadcast.

As a result of the accident a number of NJ TRANSIT buses traveling to and from Newark and New York are subject to a 20 to 30 minute delay, including bus numbers 67 and 68, according to the agency's website. There is currently no service between Route 18 and Ernston Road. 

Patch will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

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