Active investigation into fatal school bus crash on I-80 in Mt. Olive Township (PHOTOS)

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and New Jersey State Police Acting Superintendent Patrick Callahan can confirm an active investigation into a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred earlier this morning on Route 80 in Mt. Olive.

At around 10:20 a.m., authorities were notified of an incident that occurred in the area of mile marker 25 on Route 80 Westbound in Mt. Olive.  The preliminary investigation has revealed a two-vehicle crash involving a school bus, occupied by students and teachers, and a dump truck.

At this time, it can be confirmed that there are fatalities as a result of this crash.  The exact number and the identity of each individual is being withheld at this time pending formal notification of next of kin.  All other individuals injured in this crash have been transported to local hospitals for care.

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding this crash are ongoing.  No other information is being released at this time.  Additional information will be provided at the appropriate juncture.

Numerous police and emergency personnel are on scene actively assisting with the investigation. Our thoughts are with those injured and their families.

Congressman Josh Gottheimer  released the following statement: “My heart is breaking for the children and families from the Paramus community involved in today’s horrific bus crash. On a day when students from East Brook Middle School should have been enjoying their class trip, instead, they experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. As a father, I am praying for every parent, child, teacher, friend, and administrator, and I know that we will all be hugging our kids extra tight tonight.  I join the Paramus community as they come together to support all of those affected in this tragedy — especially the two families who lost loved ones today. Thank you to all of the first responders who responded quickly to help students,care for victims, and investigate how such a horrible tragedy could happen. I am grateful to the doctors and nurses — including those at Atlantic Health System in Hackettstown — caring for patients throughout the region. I will stay in touch with Paramus Mayor LaBarbiera, Paramus Council President Tedesco, State Senator Lagana’s office, the Governor’s office, and all those coordinating emergency response, offering any help that I can. My office has also been in touch with the NTSB.”

According to radio reports, 47 injuries have been reported with some in serious condition. The school bus was transporting children from the the East Brook Middle School in Paramus to a field trip at Waterloo Village. Ambulances are transporting a number of the injured to Hackettstown Medical Center, and to Morristown. Multiple ambulances have been requested from Warren, Morris and Sussex counties.

Governor Phil Murphy said that 21 of the injured went to Morristown Medical Center, 10 to Hackettstown Medical Center, three to St. Clare’s hospital in Dover, four to St. Clare’s in Denville, three to University Hospital Newark and two to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson.

I-80 westbound and eastbound is closed in the area of Exit 25.Westbound traffic is being routed off Route 80 at Exit 26 to Route 46 west. Traffic on 46 through Budd Lake and into Hackettstown is very heavy. Traffic is being detoured back up to Route 80 on Route 517 North to Allamuchy. Expect heavy delays throughout the afternoon.

Keep with RNJ on this developing story.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook