ORRINGTON, Maine — A collision Thursday afternoon between a school bus carrying pupils from Center Drive School and a minivan sent two area men to the hospital and knocked power out to more than 1,000 Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. customers.
Sgt. Jon Carson of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said the accident happened shortly after 3 p.m. when bus driver Leroy Deans, 68, of Orrington turned left off Center Drive onto Route 15, traveling into the path of a 2009 Toyota Sienna driven by Nanatilynn Hardie, 39, of Orland.
Deans was not hurt, nor were any of the 38 students who were aboard the bus, Carson said.
Amy Brooks, school nurse at Center Drive, was a few vehicles behind the bus when the accident happened, Carson said. Brooks stopped at the scene to check the pupils and help keep them calm. Some of the youngsters were picked up at the scene by their parents while others boarded another bus that was called to take them the rest of the way home, Carson said.
Two passengers in Hardie’s van were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after they complained of pain at the scene, Carson said.
They were identified as the driver’s father, 62-year-old Edward Hardie of Orland, who was seated in a wheelchair in the minivan, and John Stevens, 52, of Brooklin.
Edward Hardie was treated at EMMC and released. No information on Stevens’ condition was available Thursday night.
A third passenger in Hardie’s van, Verona Stevens, 52, of Brooklin, was not injured, Carson said.
Carson said that the bus driver “looked both ways” but did not see Hardie’s van, which was pushed off the roadway and spun sideways into a utility pole. The pole broke, damaging electrical equipment and leaving 1,020 Orrington residents without power.
“There was some pretty serious arcing going on,” Carson said.
Traffic was detoured for several hours through Johnson Mill and Swetts Pond roads to allow Bangor Hydro workers to replace the broken utility pole, Carson said.
Carson said the van had extensive damage to its passenger side as well as a flat tire. He said the only damage to the bus was to the mechanical arm that extends a small stop sign from the bus when its red lights are activated.
Carson said public safety personnel from Orrington, Brewer and Penobscot County assisted at the scene.