Ten Hartland Middle School-aged students, along with six adult chaperones and their driver, were transported to area hospitals for treatment after the charter bus they were riding in tipped over at I-96 and Highland Road.

The charter bus had 42 students and chaperones on board. The accident occurred last night at about 10:30 p.m. just west of Howell in Howell Township. The weather conditions at the time were described as dark and rainy, with poor visibility.

The Hartland Consolidated Schools Facebook page says that students were returning from a band trip in the Chicago area at the time. According to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, the charter bus left the off-ramp from eastbound I-96 onto Highland Road, which is M-59, and tipped onto its side. There were two charter buses on the trip, and the one that tipped over was bus #1. The charter bus is owned and operated by Ground Travel Specialist Inc. of Brownstown Township.

The sheriff’s office says none of the students’ or chaperones’ injuries were considered life-threatening. The uninjured students were reunited with their families at the fire station on Grand River in Howell. Assisting at the scene and at the fire station were the Howell Area Fire Dept., Livingston County Ambulance, Michigan State Police and the Hartland Consolidated School District. One commenter said that the students were extremely calm, and those who were not injured tended to the needs of those who were hurt.

Another Facebook poster said the teachers and chaperones on board also were extremely composed and were busy escorting the students to safety. St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell assisted in the accountability and reunification of students with their parents. Alcohol or drugs do not appear to have been a factor in the accident at this time. The crash remains under investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. (TT)