A school bus filled with children collided with a pickup truck in Gilbert Wednesday, one of three crashes in the area at nearly the same time.
No children were hurt in the morning accident, and another school bus arrived on the scene and took the kids to school in Chandler, authorities said.
Police said a Weinberg Elementary School bus with 58 students on board was northbound on Greenfield Road north of Chandler Heights Road about 7:30 a.m. when a southbound pickup truck made a U-turn in front of the bus and was struck.
The truck’s driver, Ben Richards, 21, of Queen Creek was trying to escape traffic when he made the U-turn. His truck was knocked into a ditch on the west side of Greenfield Road.. He was flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn with serious, but non life-threatening head injuries, said Gilbert fire Capt. Rob Duggan.
At about the same time, two other accidents in the area drew Chandler and Mesa fire departments to help out. One was on Chandler Heights Road between Val Vista Drive and Greenfield Road, and the second near the intersection of Val Vista Drive and Chandler Heights Road.
In those crashes, which happened within a half hour of the bus crash, firefighters spent nearly an hour extricating a victim and took two people to local hospitals.
Investigations into all three crashes are ongoing.
Police have shut down Greenfield Road north of Chandler Heights Road. Drivers should avoid the area.