Australia: Truck driver charged after children seriously injured in school bus crash

A truck driver was charged Wednesday after seven children were hospitalized with serious injuries when he rear-ended a school bus on the outskirts of Melbourne in southeastern Australia, officials said.

The dump truck the 49-year-old man was driving hit the back of a school bus carrying 45 students and caused it to overturn Tuesday afternoon at an intersection in Eynesbury, a semi-rural community west of Melbourne, police said. Head injuries, arm amputations and suspected spinal injuries were reported by a hospital official.

The truck driver, whose name has not been made public, was charged with four counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury, a police statement said.

He will appear via a video link in the Melbourne Magistrates Court later Wednesday, police said.

Police Superintendent Michael Cruse said more charges were likely.

"Speed will be considered as well as part of the investigation," Cruse told reporters.

Cruse paid tribute to passersby and the injured 52-year-old bus driver who helped children from the bus.

"It's a really confronting scene. Some of the injuries are really very traumatic and that would be a difficult scene for a passerby to come across, and then to have acted the way they did is really admirable," Cruse said.

Exford Primary School Principal Lisa Campo drove the short distance from the children's campus to the crash site and was among those who rendered help.

"I didn't know what I was going to see. I honestly thought I'd be just there comforting some distressed kids who had been in been a minor collision," Campo told reporters. "I didn't ever expect to see that and hope I never see that again."

A total of 21 children where initially taken by ambulance from the...

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