Scary moments in Lindenwold school bus crash caught on camera

LINDENWOLD, N.J. - June 17, 2013

The crash happened at 1:18 p.m. Monday in the 300 block of Blackwood-Clementon Road.

You can see the tire tracks where the school bus came barreling down the wrong side of the street and hit a Honda Civic.

That car spun out of control and then struck a pedestrian who was mowing the lawn on the side of the road.

Dash cam video shows a school bus driver blazing down the wrong side of Blackwood-Clementon Road. A second view shows cars and a mail truck swerving, trying to get out of the bus' path.

And then the bus slammed into a car, and those two vehicles hit a church deacon who was mowing the lawn outside an auto body shop.

9-year-old Alex Palmer witnessed the accident.

"Just out of nowhere, he just comes and runs right over the car," said Alex. "Because this is the bus and this is the car, he is not paying attention. And he just goes right on top of the car. And then it's just mayhem."

"The whole front of the bus was like jacked up," Alex continued. "It was all like smashed in. And that whole front of the car was smashed."

38-year-old Danielle Merriel, a teacher at Overbrook High School in Pine Hill, N.J., was extracted from that car.

She was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital, where family members tell us she is in critical condition. But they are hopeful she will make a full recovery.

"The bus I guess went over the car and swung into the deacon or something like that and hit him," said church member Jessica Johnson. "Well, word is that he got up and walked."

Johnson came to the accident scene expecting the worst.

"I came up and I saw the cops around, and I saw them pulling a body out of the car," she said. "They said she was stable, she was able to move her neck. However, there was blood all over the place."

Police say right now they don't know what caused the driver to lose control.

Fortunately there were no school children on the bus at the time of the crash.

The deacon was expected to be released from the hospital some time Tuesday.

My heart was pounding, and I got chills down my spine, but just to see that both of them survived, that is so awesome," said Johnson. "I thank God that he is alive."

Law enforcement says the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

They did take a blood and urine sample from the bus driver. No charges are expected to be filed until the results of that toxicology report are in.

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