JACKSON–Shortly after children boarded a Jackson Township school bus on February 26th, a dump truck roared through a nearby telephone pole, across the spot where the children had waited at their district assigned school bus stop and into a tree, approximately 100 feet beyond the corner.
Students were not present at the time and no injuries were reported.
The accident happened early Tuesday morning at the intersection of Cranberry Harvest Court and East Veterans Highway.
Sgt. Brian Geoghegan of the Jackson Township Police Department said the driver of the truck was arrested for DWI, pending the results of blood samples.
The truck was owned by Marlin Construction Services of Jackson. The truck is suspected to have left the Marlin property located on nearby Whitesville Road, also in Jackson. A call made to Marlin Construction Services on Tuesday was not returned.
The section of East Veterans Highway has been of concern to residents and local officials through the years.
In April of 2012, a $3,325,000 bond to resurface that portion of East Veterans Highway and improve safety conditions of the sharp curve was issued by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. To date, the project has not yet been completed. A call made to the office of County Engineer’s office was not returned.
In 2011-12, the Jackson School District performed a school bus stop consolidation and audit, but Superintendent Tom Gialanella said the bus stop at this location was not affected by the bus stop consolidations. The stop was at that location both before and after the consolidations took place.
Gialanella said students are allowed to stand 20 to 30 feet back from the stop if they wish to and that buses will wait for them to board.
“Unfortunately, we can’t predict when or where an accident could take place – be it on East Veterans Highway or on a quiet cul-de-sac,’’ Gialanella said. “The best we can do is evaluate each stop on an individual basis and make sure each location is safe.’’
Editors Note: This article has been updated as of 3:20 pm 2/27/13 to include comments received by Jackson Schools Superintendent Tom Gialanella which were omitted in an earlier version and incorrectly reported as “refused comment”.