Injured driver from school bus crash: ‘All I could think in my head is the car’s gonna blow up’

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The driver of the car involved in last Friday’s crash with a school bus has been released from the hospital, but will still need several weeks to fully recover. 

The incident has also raised concerns among parents on the safety of their children.

Ranceford Nunes says he feels lucky to be alive. He’s also grateful for all the bystanders who immediately came to help him.

“I remember getting hit and just that loud noise and stuff and blood all over,” he said.

Friday’s crash sent 28 people to the hospital. Most of them were kids.

Nunes, who was driving his new BMW, was released from the hospital Monday. 

He has a broken arm, a spinal fracture, and cuts to his legs and his head, but he says the worst pain is from his chest.

“Over here is all bruised because I was trying to break through the seat belt because all I could think in my head is the car’s gonna blow up, the car’s gonna blow up,” Nunes said.

He says bystanders immediately came and got him out of his car, and he’s still shocked at what actually happened.

“All I saw was the bus and it was so fast, everything happened so fast,” said Nunes.
“But did the driver cross the center line?” KHON2 asked.
“Yes,” Nunes said.
“You’re sure about that?” KHON2 asked.
“I’m positive about that,” Nunes said.

The bus had picked up students from Pearl Harbor Elementary School when it happened. Parents there say the incident is alarming.

“Very scared for the kids, nervous. You gotta feel like if my kid was on that bus, I would be scared and worried,” said parent Valerie Gabriel.

“A lot of concern from us. It’s lucky it didn’t happen to them,” said parent Cesar Sampayan.

The Department of Education said Wednesday that it has directed Roberts Hawaii, which operates the school buses, to remove the driver from active school bus driving until further notice. 

KHON2 has reached out to the company and Honolulu police for more information on the crash, but both say they cannot comment until the investigation is done.

DOE says there is video surveillance from the school bus and it will be made available to HPD.

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