7 students taken to hospital after school bus crashes in Stanly County

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — Emergency crews in Stanly County were called to the scene of a crash involving a school bus Thursday morning, officials told Channel 9.

State troopers said the crash happened just after 7 a.m. on Palestine Road near Barnhardt Road, north of Albemarle.

Troopers said the school bus, which had 20 students on board, was the only vehicle involved.

Authorities told Eyewitness News that three students suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital to be checked out. Four additional students were later taken to the hospital by their parents as a precaution.

All seven children have since been released from the hospital.

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Officials said the bus driver was also taken to the hospital.

Troopers told Channel 9 the bus, which was headed to North Stanly High School and North Stanly Middle School, somehow ran off the road and struck two culverts.

The Highway Patrol said an animal in the road may have caused the crash, but it was too early to say for sure.

"They are indicating that it may have been a possible animal had entered the roadway," said Trooper M.E. Taylor.

Troopers are reviewing cameras on the bus to see what exactly happened.

The bus driver has not been charged.

The bus was towed around 9 a.m. and Channel 9 observed fire department crews hosing mud off the roadway.

The crash remains under investigation.