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School bus crash sends driver to hospital

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A school bus was forced off the road on Route 23 in Claverack after it was struck by a BMW on Tuesday, police said.
October 9, 2018 06:19 pm Updated: October 10, 2018 09:32 am

CLAVERACK — A Hillsdale man was ticketed Tuesday for improper passing after his vehicle struck a school bus, police said.

The accident occurred around 3:45 p.m. near the intersection of Route 23 and the eastern end of county Route 16.

Daniel O’Connell, 71, was ticketed, Capt. John DeRocha with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

A 20-passenger school bus was making a left turn from west Route 23 onto county Route 16 when O’Connell, driving a 2008 BMW, attempted to pass several cars and the school bus in front of him on the left, DeRocha said. The BMW struck the side of the school bus, DeRocha said. After the crash, traffic was diverted around the school bus which came to rest on the east side of the road for about an hour.

Three Taconic Hills Central School District staff members, two students and the bus driver, David Dougherty, 59, of Ancramdale, on the bus at the time of the crash.

The students were aged 14 and 15, DeRocha said.

Dougherty was taken to Sharon Hospital in Connecticut complaining of neck pain. No one else was injured, including the driver of the BMW, DeRocha said.

The school bus driver, students and staff were wearing seatbelts, DeRocha said.

The bus driver used the vehicle’s left turn signal properly, DeRocha said.

The sheriff’s office was still interviewing witnesses as of 5:30 p.m., and the investigation is ongoing, DeRocha said.

DeRocha did not know where the vehicles were headed before the crash.

Both vehicles sustained minor damage and were towed from the scene, DeRocha said.

Churchtown firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell