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Sunday, April 20, 2008
This was a bus from the IU where Megan goes to school. My heart about fell out when my mom showed me this in the paper:

‘God was on Route 1’

By BEN FINLEY
Bucks County Courier Times

As he stood along a silent stretch of highway Friday afternoon, Public Safety Director Fred Harran said, “God was on Route 1 northbound in Bensalem today.”

“It’s a miracle that no one was injured,” Harran continued. “Another 2 inches and the van could’ve gone into the ravine.”

The front bumper of a minivan that was carrying three preschoolers was still hanging 6 feet off the ground in a splintered tree.

That bumper marked where the Bucks County Intermediate Unit minivan launched off the pavement of the Route 1 Superhighway.

That bumper also tells the story of what could’ve been. Behind the scrap of metal and the splintered tree is a 30-foot drop into sloping ravine, which deepens into a tea- colored brook.

That tree, thick as a telephone pole, was the only thing that stopped that van — and three toddlers — from plunging into the unthinkable.

The tree stood alone — nothing within 10 feet on either side of it.

According to police, a Honda Prelude had cut off the van and brushed the van’s front. The collision sent the school vehicle airborne, launching over the guardrail and into the tree, police said.

The tree’s trunk withstood the full brunt of the van’s weight, and seemed to guide it out of harm’s way. By the look of the soil, the van seemed to leave the trunk and hug the ravine’s edge — moving parallel to Route 1 — as it traveled another 60 feet before finally halting at the trunk of another tree.

When the van came to rest, it was sloped toward the ravine at a 45-degree angle. Its smashed front was clinging to outside of the guardrail.

When Nottingham Fire Chief Ronald Harris and his crew arrived, several people were already pulling the kids, ages 3 through 4, out of the van.

The kids were visibly upset, but they had no serious injuries, Harris said. The woman driving the van, Cornelia Fulmor of Northampton, suffered moderate injuries but nothing lifethreatening, Harran said.

The driver of the Honda Prelude, Steven Vickers of Morrisville, and his passenger, Angelo Quisito of Yardley, suffered only minor injuries even though their car flipped over and came to rest on its roof in the middle of the highway. Two employees for the Intermediate Unit, a county agency that provides services to special education students, had rushed to the scene. But they declined to comment as they stared at the wreckage. The newspaper was unsuccessful in reaching IU spokeswoman JoAnn Perotti for comment.

Harran said that police officer Donald Schwab will continue to investigate the accident.

As he surveyed the wreckage again, Harran said to one of his men: “Can you imagine what it must have been like for those kids?”

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