|Driver says she blacked out before hitting school bus|
Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 @ 1:00 p.m.
WARREN Ã¢Â€Â” The woman driving the car that collided with the back of a Warren school bus Monday morning, sending 18 students to the hospital, said she blacked out before the accident.
Warren police cited Melinda S. Chapin, 50, of Belmont Street Northeast, for failure to maintain assured clear distance. She was taken to Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where she was admitted Monday and treated for injuries to her hands and knees and was being tested for possible neurological problems.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI remember turning onto Atlantic Street and thatÃ¢Â€Â™s it,Ã¢Â€Â she said Tuesday by telephone from her hospital room. Ã¢Â€ÂœI didnÃ¢Â€Â™t see the bus or the lights. I completely blacked out.Ã¢Â€Â
The bus was carrying 18 students ranging in age from 14 to 17, most from the Northwest area of the city to Warren G. Harding High School when it stopped for a railroad crossing on Atlantic Street Northeast a couple blocks from Harding. It was struck from the rear by ChapinÃ¢Â€Â™s car at about 8:38 a.m.
All of the students were taken to various hospitals to be checked, including nine that were taken by ambulance and nine taken in a different school bus.
The bus driver had activated the flashing lights on the bus, officials said.
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