The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. Monday in Egg Harbor Township. The students were heading home from Atlantic City to their Somers Point campus when the crash occurred.
Some of the students who spoke with Action News say at mile marker 34 they felt a tire blow out.
"The bus started swifting back and forth and we went off the road and the bus almost flipped over," student Jarrett Jasper said.
The screams started, and the bus driver, 54-year-old Christine Williams, started praying.
"We hit everything and everyone just stampeded off the bus, books were left. It was a wild scene," student Kayzie Burgos said.
22 students were taken to Atlantic City Regional Medical Center where many were released Monday evening. Several others were taken to Shore Memorial in Somers Point.
Regarding the cause of the crash, New Jersey State Police refused comment Tuesday, citing an ongoing investigation.
Photos suggest the left rear wheel assembly did come off the bus.
Tom Dugan is the president of Safety Bus.
"I believe it did come off," he told Action News. "How or why, I do not know. I don't know why or what the situation was."
Among the safety checks required before picking up students are the lug nuts holding the wheels tight. In addition, when tires are put on, Dugan says bright paint is used to help detect any loosening of those lug nuts.
He confirmed bus 20057 failed a semi-annual state safety inspection October 18th. At least one of its right rear tires did not have sufficient tread.
The tire was quickly replaced and the bus returned to service that day. Company records indicate at least one of its left rear tires was replaced Oct 12th.
If you want to check the inspection status of your child's school bus, click on this link to New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission's website.