Driver of car injured in accident with bus

MERRIMACK – A local woman was injured late Thursday afternoon when her car crashed into the rear of a stopped school bus, police said.

Deborah Booker, 48, was treated and released at St. Joseph Hospital, where she was transported by ambulance following the 4:55 p.m. crash at the intersection of Camp Sargent Road and Cedar Lane, Merrimack police officials said.

The driver of the school bus, Kathryn Dube, 28, of Merrimack, two area students, and Dube’s infant son, who were all inside the school bus when the crash occurred, were not injured, police said. However, one of the students was transported to a Nashua hospital as a matter of policy because police officials could not locate the student’s parents.

The baby was strapped into an infant seat in the front passenger side of the school bus, which was not dislodged in the crash.

Police declined to identify either of the two students due to their age, and could not say what school they were being transported from.

Police said the Laidlaw school bus was stopped on the westbound side of Camp Sargent Road when Booker’s westbound 1994 Dodge Intrepid slammed into its rear bumper.

After receiving reports of the crash, police arrived at the intersection to find the front of the Dodge lodged under the school bus, its windshield touching the school bus bumper.

Booker was out of her car and walking around when emergency crews arrived, police said.

No airbags deployed in the car as a result of the crash; however, Booker was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, police said.

The school bus was able to drive away from the crash. The Dodge, however, sustained major front-end damage and was towed from the scene.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said, and alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

The crash was the second involving a school bus in the region in less than a month.

On Oct. 14, 49-year-old Amherst resident Peter Rella was seriously injured when a full-size school bus driven by First Student driver Charleen Lord collided with the driver’s side of his Acura sedan at the intersection of Somerset Parkway and the entrance to Trafalgar Square. No students were on the bus at the time of the crash.

Firefighters were forced to use extrication equipment to remove Rella from the front portion of his badly mangled car following the crash.

Rella, who recently spoke from a room at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, said he spent eight days in the intensive care unit at the hospital following the crash.

A CVS drugstore pharmacist and father of two, Rella said he sustained numerous broken ribs, a punctured lung, kidney damage and a ruptured spleen as a result of the crash.

Police later determined that Lord had caused the crash by failing to yield at a red light at the intersection.

The determination was based on evidence at the scene and statements from two independent witnesses of the crash, Nashua Police Sgt. Mike Masella said.