YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Around 10 a.m. Monday, a school bus with the Croton-Harmon School District was traveling eastbound on Underhill Avenue near Heights Drive when rain and strong winds took down a tree, which landed directly in front of the bus, said Police Chief Robert Noble.
Though the bus driver was able to stop in time, making only slight contact with the tree, part of a utility pole and its wires “snapped off” and fell on the roof of the bus, Noble said.
Police Officer Don Peters was the first to arrive on the scene, ordering the driver and the students to remain on the bus. Utility crews eventually arrived and shut off power to the wires, and the students were escorted off the bus. Nobody was injured, Noble said. The police chief commended the bus driver, his police officers and the utility crews for working together to ensure that the students remained safe.
As of press time, police were unable to provide the exact number of students on the bus. Noble said they waited 30-45 minutes before power was shut off.
Noble said he urges people to stay in their vehicle if they find themselves in a similar situation. If a person must exit the vehicle, he said, they should land with their feet simultaneously on the ground. Instead of running or walking, a person should shuffle or hop. Taking small steps and keeping your feet close together, Noble said, minimizes the potential for a strong electric shock.
The school bus was returning from Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES when the accident occurred, according to a statement released on social media by the Croton-Harmon School District. The bus suffered only minor damage, the district said.
The downed tree and utility pole left more than 100 Con Edison customers without service for much of the day, but it was restored in the evening. Underhill Avenue was closed between Heights Drive and the northbound exit of the Taconic State Parkway for nearly eight hours.