Several students and a bus driver were injured Tuesday morning in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, when another vehicle’s collision with a deer sent the animal crashing through the front window of a school bus.
The bus was headed to Dartmouth Middle School on Chase Road around 7:12 a.m. when the incident occurred, Dartmouth police said. The bus was carrying middle and high school students.
Four students on the bus were hurt, along with the driver, according to police. The school district said five students were hurt.
School bus driver Mark Jardin said the deer was still alive when it landed on his lap. He hurt his hand trying to wrestle it and will need surgery.
“I was holding on to the antlers trying to undo my seatbelt. It was just flailing and scratching,” Jardin said.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Jardin said he did not realize he was bleeding, until after he checked on all of the students on board.
“As long as the kids were good, then I was good,” Jardin said, “That’s all that mattered to me.”
Zhoe Rodrigues was sitting in the front row on the bus at the time of the accident. The eighth-grader was hospitalized after she was cut by pieces of glass from the windshield
“There was glass in my hair. I had deer organs all over my back, in my hair and on my dress,” she said.
The mother of another student told NBC10 Boston her daughter was concussed in the incident and had been released from the hospital.
The district commended the driver for keeping the students calm after the terrifying ordeal.
"We are very grateful for his effort to ensure our students remained safe. His concern for our children was obvious," it added.
A photograph taken after the collision shows the deer — which did not survive — partially inside the bus with its body propped up on the driver’s seat.
[NATL] Unbelievable Animal Stories: Dog Befriends Abandoned Baby Giraffe
The driver will be out for several weeks recovering, but students who were on board said they plan on doing something special for him whenever he returns.
An investigation is underway. There was no further information about the driver of the vehicle that allegedly struck the animal.