EDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) Just before 8:20am, a car driven by 21-year old Kevin Sprawka of Gowanda veered across the center lanes of Route 62 and struck a Carrier Coach bus head-on.
The crash closed a two-mile section of Route 62 in Eden between Sandrock and Pontiac Roads for most of the morning.
Sprawka had to be extricated from his 2006 Chevrolet by the Eden Emergency & Rescue Squad.
He was taken to the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) where he is listed in fair condition.
Onboard the Carrier Coach bus were eleven 'special-needs' young adults, a bus aide, and a driver.
The young adults were coming from a group home and were headed to their employment at Suburban Adult Services Inc. in Eden, and the south campus of Erie Community College.
Eden Police say quick reaction by the bus driver helped lessen injuries to his passengers.
"He actually put the bus into a very deep ditch. He couldn't go any further to the right because of the earthen embankment there, but the driver did a very good job," added Lt. John McCarthy from the Eden Police Department.
Rescue crews built a ramp to help get victims off the bus and across the drainage ditch.
A special medical response team (SMART) from the ECMC was called to the scene to help evaluate passengers.
"Three on the bus were also sent to the Erie County Medical Center," said Lt. McCarthy.
Witnesses tell police Sprawka's car abruptly came over the center line and hit the Carrier Coach in the front driver side area.
Erie County Sheriffs will now assist the Eden Police Department to see if Sprawka's car had a mechanical problem.
Investigators will try to determine if the Gowanda man was using a cell phone or fell asleep behind the wheel.
Depending on what they find out, charges could be pending.