A Lewiston school bus loaded with children was struck by a car Friday morning, adding to dozens of accidents involving Maine school buses so far in 2023.

Lewiston school buses are typically involved in minor accidents similar to Friday’s a few times a year, Lewiston Superintendent Jake Langlais said.

“I don’t know how you miss a 60-foot yellow bus with flashing lights and a stop sign flipped out from the side of the vehicle,” Langlais said. “But people do. We just need to be more aware.”

The school bus was rear-ended just after 7:30 a.m. Friday at Pierce and Pine streets while transporting students to Montello Elementary School. Twenty-eight kindergarten through sixth grade students ages 6 to 11 years old were on the bus at the time.

No one was injured and there was no damage to the bus or the car, according to Lewiston police public information officer Derrick St. Laurent, who referred to the accident as a minor fender-bender. The accident appeared to be a result of driver distraction, he said.

The bus driver called 911 and informed the district of the situation. The district sent two other buses that were in the area to pick up the kids and bring them to school, and notified parents and the community.


It is one of more than 60 accidents involving school buses across the state so far in 2023, according to Maine Department of Transportation data. There were 114 accidents involving school buses in 2022. School bus crashes accounted for 0.34% of all vehicle crashes in Maine in 2022 and 0.28% of the total crashes so far this calendar year.

Other recent incidents involving school buses include one in Raymond on Sept. 12, when the driver of a box truck was distracted by an object that had fallen in the cab of the truck and drove into a school bus that was stopped with its lights flashing and stop arm deployed while a student was boarding.

“Fortunately, in this incident, the bus driver had control of the student boarding and other than minor damage, the situation was resolved without injury,” the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said at the time. “That has not been the case in recent months in similar circumstances.”

In May, a Gray-New Gloucester Middle School student was seriously injured when struck by a tractor-trailer truck while getting off a school bus.

In another accident in Belgrade last spring, no students in the school bus were injured, but people in the other vehicle required medical treatment.

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