Hillsdale, NJ – A van-load of high school girls heading from Monsey to Bais Yaakov Machon Ora in Passaic were involved in a one car accident this morning just south of the New York border, sending all of the students to the hospital, one with serious injuries.
Sergeant Hamilton Ulerio of the New Jersey State Police Troop D said that the accident took place at approximately 8 AM this morning as the 2017 blue Ford Transit was headed southbound on the Garden State Parkway at mile marker 167.7 in the Hillsdale area.
The driver of the Ford Transit van told police that he lost control of the vehicle which left the roadway and entered the wide center median of the parkway, continuing down a grassy embankment before coming to rest in a wooded area.
Numerous emergency responders headed to the accident site including the New Jersey State Police, fire crews and ambulances from Hatzolah and the nearby Valley Hospital.
An email sent by Bais Yaakov Machon Ora to parents reported that 13 girls had been on the van and that most of the injuries were not of a serious nature, with one girl undergoing surgery for her injuries.
Ulerio said that the girls were transported to various area hospitals with the driver of the van, who suffered a minor injury to his leg, declining an offer to be taken to the hospital.
It took several hours for rescue teams to extricate the vehicle from the median with minimal delays on the southbound side, but backups nearly five miles long reported on the northbound roadway.
It is unclear at this time if the van was affected by a safety recall issued by Ford in June 2017.
CNBC (https://cnb.cx/2yydL12) reported that the automaker recalled 400,000 2015 -17 Ford Transits because of possible cracking to a flexible coupling and a driveshaft separation that could potentially increase the risk of a crash. At the time of the recall, no accidents or injuries had been reported due to the vehicle’s defects.