INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - One child and a school bus driver died Monday morning and 10 more children were injured after their bus struck a bridge support beam on the city's east side.
The crash happened around 7:43 a.m. in the 900 block of Emerson Avenue. In addition to the two dead, Indianapolis Fire Department officials say two children were critically hurt and eight others are considered "walking wounded."
Eight children were taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital and two were taken to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. By about 7:30 p.m., Wishard officials said all of the children there had been released from the hospital.
Accident victims ID'd
Police identified the deceased driver as Thomas Spencer II, 60, of Indianapolis and the deceased student as Donasty Smith, 5, also of Indianapolis.
The school said in a statement Monday afternoon that it "is deeply saddened by the injuries and loss of life that occurred."
PHOTO GALLERY | Deadly School Bus Crash
Officials said one child was stuck under the front wheel of the bus for some time, but crews were able to remove the child, who was still alive Monday morning.
About 50 students were on the bus at the time of the crash. The injured range in age from 5 to 16 years old.
The bus involved was from Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School, and officials were urging parents to call the school with any questions. The school gave a dedicated number for inquiries regarding the crash Monday afternoon: 317-270-4939.
Classes resume Tuesday
The school announced it would be dismissing students for the day around noon Monday. Classes were set to resume Tuesday on a normal schedule, the school said in a statement, and grief counselors would be on hand to help students, families and staff.
One witness told 24-Hour News 8 she was on her way to work, headed northbound on Emerson Avenue, when she came upon the crash.
"I couldn't figure out what it was that was under the bridge," said Tami Presley. "As I was pulling under I just see kids just start jumping off."
Presley said she heard screaming and crying and saw many kids with bloody noses.
"I just tried to mostly console the children," Presley said.
Community offers help
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard visited the crash scene and the school on Monday.
The school expressed gratitude for the community's reaction.
"Indianapolis Lighthouse sincerely appreciates the outpouring of support and offers of assistance from the community as we work through the painful loss that has occurred within our school family.
Saturday morning, Wishard Memorial Hospital will close its doors.
Snow that moved through Central Indiana this week has wrapped up, leaving some areas with more than 10 inches of snow.
Free bags of salt will be available to the public Saturday after snow moved through Central Indiana this week.