An Egg Harbor Township school bus crashed into traffic stopped at the airport circle Thursday morning, damaging five cars, sending two people to the hospital and detouring rush-hour traffic for about 90 minutes, police said Friday afternoon.

The driver of the 2000 Blue Bird Transit-style bus, Betty Swan, 65, of Egg Harbor Township, exited the Tilton Terrace Mobile Park and turned north on Tilton Road around 8:10 a.m., police said.

“The operator experienced a mechanical malfunction,” police said in a release, and that led to a chain-reaction crash.

Police said:

  • The bus hit a 2010 Mini Cooper driven by Paula M. McGrath, 21, of Vineland. 
  • McGrath’s car hit a 2013 Hyundai Sonata driven by Michael McTiernan, 55, of Barnegat.
  • McTiernan’s car hit a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Frederick F. Erte, 51, of Somers Point. 
  • Erte’s car hit a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Carol P. Burd, 51, of Egg Harbor Township.
  • Burd’s vehicle hit a 2006 Subaru Forester driven by Joseph R. Coffman, 31, of Hermitage, Tenn.

Three students, ages 12 and 13, were on the bus, en route to the Fernwood Avenue Middle School. Neither they nor Swan were hurt.

McGrath and McTiernan both suffered “minor to moderate injuries,” police said, and were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland campus, in Galloway Township. Both had been discharged by Friday afternoon.

No charges have been filed, said Lt. Robert Gray. Any charges are pending the assessment of the bus by New Jersey Department of Transportation inspectors, Gray said.

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