After spending six weeks in the hospital, school bus driver Andy Sanchez died from injuries sustained during an October school bus crash in New Windsor, New York.
Sanchez drove for Washingtonville Central School District, located north of New York City, for the past nine years. Superintendent Larry Washington confirmed his death on the district website on Tuesday.
Sanchez, 74, “was a valued employee, beloved by his colleagues and the Little Britain Elementary School students in his care,” Washington wrote.
The school bus crash occurred on Oct. 21. The Town of Windsor Police said a commercial tree service truck crossed over the double yellow line as it was headed westbound and struck the school bus head-on. The driver of the tree service truck, along with Sanchez and a 6-year-old student passenger were taken to the hospital, following extrication from their vehicles.
The student, identified only as Shea, spent over an hour inside the bus while fire units freed her from the vehicle. She was reportedly sitting in the seat located behind Sanchez. Media reports stated she sustained two broken bones and a deep laceration to her leg. Shea was released from the hospital on Oct. 23.
Seven other students reportedly walked off the bus and were brought to the hospital for examination. They were treated and released that same day.
The tree service truck driver was later identified as Ian Jennings, 25, and remains hospitalized at this writing, according to local media reports. No other information has been released at this writing on the cause of the crash.
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Since joining the district, Sanchez had been an integral and invaluable part of the school district, and will be greatly missed, Washington added. The district has made school counselors available to everyone, and Washington encourages families to allow children time to grieve.
“To the parents/guardians of students who had more direct contact with Mr. Sanchez, please be mindful that children express grief in different ways,” Washington stated. “Encourage your child(ren) to express their feelings and contact your child’s school counselor if you have any concerns.”