Four children and a driver were taken to Windham Hospital as a precaution after an EASTCONN van crashed at 90 Quarry Street in Willimantic this morning.
The van was bringing four children between 8 to 15 years old to Windham High School, Windham Middle School and Natchaug Elementary School when the vehicle hit a telephone pole, according to a statement from EASTCONN, a regional transportation services for school districts across northeastern Connecticut.
Carol Glidden, of Willimantic, said all four of her grandchildren were onboard and it was the first day they took the van to school.
One of her grandchildren goes to Natchaug Elementary, two go to the middle school and the other goes to the high school, she said.
“The little one, I guess, was on the stretcher and had a brace on her neck. It was awful,” she said.
One grandson has marks on his stomach from the seatbelt, she said.
“I guess they’re going to do X-rays to see if he has an internal injuries .The other ones, I don’t know,” Glidden said.
The students do not attend any EASTCONN school or program.
The van driver has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation, which is standard procedure, according to EASTCONN.
Local officials originally said five students were injured and they were of middle-school age.
The pole and wires are down and Quarry Street is expected to remains closed between Mansfield and Holbrook avenues for an extended period of time.
The bus route to the school is being affected, according to the fire department, and detours are being set up so students can get to school.
The Willimantic Fire Department has been Tweeting updates from the department account.