Car crashes into school bus on SR-76 near Pauma Valley

A car and a school bus collided on a rural North County road Friday, seriously injuring the driver of the smaller vehicle and leaving some classroom-bound youngsters slightly banged-up, authorities reported.

The crash occurred shortly before 8 a.m., when an eastbound 2010 Toyota Solara driven by a 24-year-old woman drifted over a set of double yellow lines on a curving stretch of State Route 76, near Lazy H Drive in Pauma Valley,
according to the California Highway Patrol.

The sedan struck an oncoming bus carrying 55 elementary school students, knocking one of the wheels off the front axle of the coach, CHP public affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

Medics took the motorist to Palomar Medical Center for treatment of a broken leg and possible fractured arm, and evaluated eight pupils who complained of minor pain, Bettencourt said. None of the children required hospital care.

The 57-year-old driver of the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District vehicle was unhurt.

Investigators believe the driver of the car, who lives near the site of the accident, may have been blinded by the morning sun, according to Bettencourt.

"It does not appear that alcohol or drugs played a factor in this collision," he said.

The wreck left the roadway blocked in the area for several hours.

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