UPDATED: LEUSD School Bus And Car Collide In Lake Elsinore

The crash was reported Friday at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Summerhill Drive.

UPDATED A 2:13 p.m.: A white Honda Prelude and a Lake Elsinore Unified School District bus collided in Lake Elsinore today.

The bus loaded with 36 children was bound for Canyon Lake Middle School, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Nathan Baer.

The crash was reported Friday at approximately 7:15 a.m. at Summerhill Drive near Canyon Ridge Drive.

The children were uninjured in the crash and were safely removed from the bus, according to LEUSD spokesman Mark Dennis.

According to Baer, the children were transported to Canyon Lake Middle School.

The school bus driver, 43-year-old Lake Elsinore resident Jeania White, was transported to an area hospital after getting ill following the crash, Baer said.

Injuries to the 18-year-old Honda driver, Ryan Geiger of Lake Elsinore, are being described as "major" by Baer, who confirmed the teen was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center.

Baer explained that the Prelude was traveling up Summerhill and the bus driver was pulling out from Canyon Ridge. The crash impact "moved" the bus and the Honda subsequently ended up underneath it.

During the preliminary investigation, Baer said, "We believe the Prelude driver was traveling at a speed greater than the posted limit." According to Baer, the speed limit on Summerhill at the crash scene is 45 mph.

In an updated report, Baer said the Honda driver was traveling at an "undetermined speed" and added, "The bus driver observed the Honda approaching, but misjudged [its] speed ... The bus driver pulled into the intersection. The Honda was unable to stop, and ... collided with the left front of the bus."

Drug or alcohol are not suspected as contributing crash factors, Baer said.

Rochelle Babers, whose 11-year-old son was on the bus, received news of the crash from her boy when he called from his cell phone.

"He was hysterical," she said. "He told me the bus was on top of the car."

Babers and her husband rushed to the crash scene.

"A lot of kids were hysterical, crying, shaking," Babers said.

The bus was equipped with lap and shoulder belts for all students, but it's unclear how many students were wearing them.

Babers son Daryes described what he saw.

"We all fell out of our seats and a couple of people hit their heads on top of the bus," the sixth-grader said. "The bus driver told everybody to get out [through] the emergency exit."

Daryes said the driver told kids to stay calm and she moved them to safety, but he did see the injured Honda driver.

"I was a litttle scared because the guy was bleeding when we got off the bus. The car was crushed," he said.

According to unconfirmed reports, TIP (Trauma Intervention Programs) was called to the scene. .

Dennis said the district is making available psychological counseling for students and the school bus driver.

"It's part of our protocol," he said.

Traffic was stopped in both directions on Summerhill for several hours.

Another school bus carrying students bound for Tuscany Hills Elementary School was impacted by the Summerhill road closure. Students on that bus were safely moved to Canyon Lake Middle School to avoid having them sit in the traffic jam; they were eventually transported to their Tuscany Hills classrooms, Dennis confirmed.

According to Dennis, both schools are resuming normal schedules today.

Parent notification was sent via the district's automatic dialer system to approximately 900 LEUSD households today at approximately 10 a.m., Dennis said. --Daniel Lane contributed to this report.

Editor's note: It was initially reported by a district official that the school bus involved in the crash was in route to Tuscany Hills Elementary School, but it has been confirmed the destination was Canyon Lake Middle School.


Myrna martinez April 13, 2013 at 03:29 AM
You must be one of the people who know very little about the LEUSD Bus Drivers and how much training and testing they go through. These are very responsible people and care very much about the lives they drive around every day. I happen to know personally because my daughter, Mrs Johnson is one of them, I have known many of these drivers over the years and have riden in the busses with them. I will stand bedind these drivers any day. They carry very precious cargo on a daily basis and maybe even some of your children but if you think they are so bad and reckless get in your car and transport yourself. They are tested regularly and have to pass tests to keep their jobs. I do hope this boy recovers fully from his injuries as it will take time and alot of work but this driver also has alot to recover from also. She may not have the physical injuries but she has alot of emotional issues she will have to overcome due to this accident. Until you know the whole story dont lay blame.
Jeanne Cordova Chavez April 13, 2013 at 03:37 AM
All of you pointing fingers at who is to blame please stop. The family of the young man and Jeania could possibly be reading this. Stop bickering. The CHP will examine the evidence and determine who was at fault. They are highly trained in accident investigation. If you need to know I'm sure you could get the report but I'm pretty sure that the officer has a lot of complex work to do before his report is complete. I have heard that the young man should make a complete recovery but I imagine it will be a slow process. That is a very good thing that he will be ok. I should think that the bus driver is not in the best mental state right now. She is a excellent caring driver. She must be torn up that her students had to experience this horrible accident and that the young man, Ryan was injured so badly. Stop battering these two people and the district for that matter.
LEmom4 April 13, 2013 at 03:52 AM
I think this comment needs some clarification. Has the driver passed? I thought he was in serious, but stable condition??
Roadeo Driver April 13, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Again??? I take personal offense to your comment, as I am a LEUSD school bus driver. Do not blanket a statement that includes "we all have seen". You cannot and should not speak for others. As for the "fast and reckless" (no W) We drive hundreds of thousands of miles every year and are still statistically safer than a parent driving their own children to school. We have a great team of drivers. As for this article, let the authorities investigate before you pull the trigger. And I'm with Tina, report it when you see it. Praying for all involved and bless the responder for their work as well.
Nancy April 13, 2013 at 05:22 AM
lynn April 13, 2013 at 07:52 AM
ryan has not passed away... not sure where you received that info from?
CAS April 13, 2013 at 07:56 AM
I live on the hill & there are some witness's that believe the Honda was traveling at a normal rate of speed. The skid marks show he didn't break until right before impact & then dragged by the bus into the down hill lane. I am sure the official report will come out soon. i am not making a judgement against bus driver, I am sure she is a wonderful person but accidents happen. If you've ever been on a bus for a field trip- you know how stressful & difficult it is drive safely & deal with very loud & distracting kids. I just went on one Tuesday, there's no way I could ever do it. We should all just be grateful everyone is alive & pray for Ryan, the bus driver & the children to heal physically & emotionally. And please, as a resident of Tuscany I ask everyone to take it easy up here. Parents are flying 50 - 60 mph to get their kids to school in the am.....it's not worth it. Just this afternoon a gal pulled out right in front of me on the upper part of Summerhill, if she wouldn't of hit her accelerator - I would have hit her & i was going 30, well below speed limit.
warriorwoman April 13, 2013 at 09:59 AM
When I first moved to Tuscany Hills in 2010, I noticed a great difference in the auto drivers in thr area,including surrounding areas. What a drastic difference compared to the Orange County drivers, the drivers here at Tuscany and Riverside County altogether drive wrecklessly. Stops & speed bumps is mandatory. I can barely make a safe left turn from Bella Lucia onto Summerhill drive. The upcomimg hill barley allows the driver from Bella Lucia to safely see upcoming cars, they al drive like maniacs here. What's the freakin rush, freakin slow freak down, you freaks, all of you are guilty of driving way to fast, as I have been writing down license plate numbers since 2010, in the humdreds, so if you Tuscany Hill drivers dom't stop throwing stones at eachother thsn I will toward you as well.
LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT April 13, 2013 at 03:05 PM
I stand behind what I said earlier, I have seen many wreckless bus drivers in Lake Elsinore and not surprised to hear about this accident. I pray for the complete recovery of the young person in the accident.
cindys April 13, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Well said Jeanne
TH Resident April 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Regardless of how nice of a person she may be, she miscalculated the speed of the car and pulled out in front of oncoming traffic. Now that the CHP has determined the fault is most likely hers…… are we all idiots or maybe just applying common sense?
lynn April 13, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Lake Elsinore Resident and all the others complaining about wreckless bus drivers... did you report it? Every bus has a license plate number and a very large two or three digit number on the front and back panel (so kids know which bus to get on) so IF there are really that many wreckless bus drivers, reports can easily be made. I've never seen a bus I couldn't pass so if you haven't reported the crime in the past... we could all point fingers at you for driving too slow to catch the bus (which is also a safety issue) or being more concerned with getting to your destination than the safety of the kids placed on those busses. Perhaps the lack of all those "wreckless driving reports" lead to yesterday's accident? Hind-sight is 20/20. The only reason this is getting so much publicity (from here to NY) is because it involved a school bus with kids... that is pretty pathetic. Had it been two cars crashing OR an empty bus with a car... the media and most of the public wouldn't have cared. So, with all that being said...I hope all these concerned citizens will report future crimes and the breaking of laws when they see them and not drive on by as if nothing happened UNTIL something does happen. Continued prayers to the bus driver, Ryan and the children traumatized by the accident. May everyone have a smooth recovery.
kim April 13, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Really Lake Elsinore Resident I'm sure you R the perfect driver! everyone in this damn city speeds, runs red lights etc.. what about the idiot people in this town running the school buses red lights daily, cutting them off while they are loaded with kids!! You have no clue!! None!!
chrissy April 13, 2013 at 10:06 PM
For those whom are concerned, I went to visit Ryan in hospital. All I can say is he has a guardian angel. He is doing well. Talking etc. thanks for all prayers and support for Ryan and the bus driver. As you all know it's called an accident because it is an accident! No one would plan or want to be in one if you could avoid it!
lynn April 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Thanks for the update Chrissy. I've heard wonderful news about Ryan as well from my son's friend. Such a blessing for sure! He'll be healing / recovering for awhile but sooooo thankful he'll be given that opportunity. Please pray for his family as well :-)
cindys April 13, 2013 at 10:46 PM
@chrissy thanks so much for the update. I will makesure that I pass along the info to my boys that know him from school.
Elsinore 33 April 14, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Lake Elsinore Resident must be going through some real bad mental illness. Every thing she writes is negative. The bus drivers are doing a good job, how does she know or can even insinuate it is the bus drivers fault. LER degrades Melendez every chance she gets, berates the bonds and taxes in the city, makes up stories of contaminated soil in several areas of the city so she can get a settlement because she paid too much for her house. She tells companies to fire people who are good workers, and then writes of how $20 million in fees will go to a developer when in actuallity they will go to a breaucratic black hole called WRCOG. LER stop running on emotion and do some research for a change, nusiance lawsuits will not be settled in your favor, we aren't that easy.
Reverend Smith April 14, 2013 at 04:08 AM
Just wait till the courts and the lawyers get a hold of this. The word "accident" will be the last thing on any of their minds. Someone's usually going too fast or not looking or texting or talking or distracted in one way or another. Don't know who. Courts, witnesses and skidmarks will decide that.
Jennie Francis April 14, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Best statement thus far. I hope people listen. I have lived here in Tuscany Hills since 1997. Summerhill has always been a problem, my children are now grown, but all parents should consider the possibilities of accidents going up and down the "Hill". Remind your kids everyday not to speed .
Reverend Smith April 14, 2013 at 06:38 AM
I was in an accident in that exact spot in 2002. I was starting up the hill and this lady suddenly swerved into me changing lanes as I was right beside her, smashing my car into the curb. I think she was wandering around sight seeing and looked up that hill and decided she didn't want to go up and saw Scenic Ridge Drive to the left as her escape from the climbing road. Only problem is my car was there. I saw another accident about 5 years ago where a Geo Metro heading down hill was somehow T-boned by a pickup truck going up the hill that crossed the median at a 45 degree angle. The Metro's right wheels and suspension were crumpled, which is good because the absorbed the energy from the truck that otherwise would have sent the Metro over the cliff into someone's backyard a few hundred feet below. The airbags deployed in the Metro and the driver was sitting on the curb in tears sobbing. The driver of the truck said someone speeding up the hill caused him to swerve and cross the median and into the Metro. I'm surprised I never see police setting up to catch speeders thereabouts. Then again, most of the city council lives up there. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Namaste April 15, 2013 at 01:15 AM
One must ask? What can/must be done to prevent this from reoccurring . Signal? Four way stop? Speed bumps? Re-routing on all commercial vehicles..use controlled intersection? One must pray for healing! Spiritual and physical.
Jena April 15, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Sorry Lynn that came out wrong that's not what I meant I didn't realize what I wrote until you said something so sorry I just deleted it
Becky Honkington April 15, 2013 at 02:55 PM
No one believes you.
lynn April 15, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Thank you Jena and I deleted my comment as well. For those that are wondering... Ryan was released from the hospital last night and sent home (yeah!!!). He has a couple of fractured vertebrae and is wearing a neck brace for pre-cautionary reasons. He is able to walk and talk and everyone is just amazed at how fortunate he is to be alive / home so soon. Keep up the prayers for a quick and smooth recovery.
LEmom4 April 15, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Thanks for the update Lynn. I am so very glad to hear this young man is home and recovering well! Now, I wish everyone would stop the debating, bantering and posting misinformation, so Ryan, the bus driver and their families can focus on their recuperating and move on. We all need to learn from this accident and direct our energy to making sure it doesn't happen again.
lynn April 16, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Mom of 2... your info is not correct. Ryan is at home for at least one week possibly two. I'm not sure where you got your info from - probably another student starting up the rumor mill. The cameras on the bus will not show everything... they are not 360/panoramic views ...this is why the police will do a full investigation based on impact, skid marks, witness testimony, etc. Everyone needs to wait for the official report and calm down.
Jessica April 17, 2013 at 03:21 PM
I got a notice in my inbox that someone had posted a comment regarding the fact that he had been bragging about taking that hill at 80mph. When I come to the site the comment isn't here. What's up with that? Is someone trying to hide the fact that he was a reckless bully on the road? I don't care if his family is reading this article. If I was a parent I would want to know that my child drives recklessly, endangering himself and others. On a residential road he once drove into the opposite lane to pass a friend of mine that he felt was going too slow. No one deserves to be hurt, I'm not saying that. But, when I hear that from his hospital bed that he's telling people that he saved the rest of the people at the bottom of the hill from the bus driver, that makes me angry.
lynn April 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Jessica I'm sure the notice was taken down because it was mis-information / rumor-mill. Some people use this comment section for "smearing" someone's name or reputation (on all kinds of stories... not just this one). People make so many assumptions based on "I heard..." and it's usually not true.
mom with heart April 18, 2013 at 05:18 AM
I heard the same thing Jessica, about him going 80 mph. I guess it's just easier to blame the bus driver. No one is thinking about her (the bus driver) and how she feels or what she is going through. Bus driving is her career, her livelihood. If people look at the photos, she was already completely committed into her turn, and if it is true that the white car moved the bus on impact....TBC
mom with heart April 18, 2013 at 05:25 AM
the car that weighs approx. 2,000lbs and a bus approx. 35,000lbs? car had to be going pretty fast to do that. I'm so glad there wasn't a passenger in the car and that the boy is ok. @ Lynn, misinformation came from NBC news when they repeatedly said that the boy "broke his neck".


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