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Driver’s car caught on surveillance video following Lancaster County school bus crash

EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Investigators are looking for the driver who they said set off a chain of events that led to a school bus crash on Route 30 in Lancaster County, Wednesday morning.

The bus was carrying students from Chester County to the Lancaster Mennonite School in East Lampeter Township.

The crash sent 16 people to the hospital, 14 students and two adults.

All have since been treated and released, except for a six-year-old boy, who remained in critical but stable condition, Thursday.

Lancaster County District Attorney's office spokesman Brett Hambright said "we don't want to elaborate on the specific injuries he has, but I think it's fair to say that he's struggling for his life at this point."

Police said the driver passed a tractor trailer carrying a wide load, struck the tractor trailer, then took off.

The driver is described as a male, possibly with short hair.

It might not seem like much to go on, but officials now have a lead which gives them a better picture of what happened.

"He would have verged even over into the opposing lane, where the bus was coming from, so it appears his actions set the crash in motion," Hambright said.

The investigation continues with law enforcement searching for that driver. They don't have a license plate number yet, but they do have a clue.

"We have a surveillance video shot of what we believe to be the vehicle involved in the crash, this was taken from a camera just a couple blocks away from the crash, which would have been East from the crash," Hambright said.

Surveillance video shows what police believe to be a white or light-colored Chevy Malibu, which most likely has some minor damage to the front end.

"Possibly some driver's side damage from when the escort vehicle struck, and kind of whipped back, it would not be, we wouldn't expect the hood to be crunched in, things like that. It would likely be some bumper damage," Hambright said.

While a photo of the car could lead investigators to the driver of the car, another lead could be found down the road.

"A lot of tractor trailers now do have dash cams. We're asking the drivers, and or their companies to review whatever video they might have between 7:45 am and 8 am, from Wednesday morning, and reach out to the police department," Hambright said.

East Lampeter Township Police Chief John Bowman said "any information at this point, or photo like that obviously to us, is helpful."

Four drivers were involved in the crash.

The school bus driver is identified as a 65-year-old man from East Petersburg; the driver of the escort vehicle, a 43-year-old man from Snyder County; and the tractor trailer driver, a 47-year-old man from Union County.

Officials have not released the names of those drivers as they are considered victims.

Meanwhile, the search goes on to identify the unknown male driver of the Chevy Malibu, the one person who could help police the most.

"We just would like to have a discussion with him, and talk with him about what happened with the accident. I think that side of the story is very important to us," Bowman said.

"We want his version of what took place, we can't speculate on his mindset, what his intentions were, we need a complete picture of everything, and that includes contact with him," Hambright said.

The Lancaster County District Attorney's office doesn't want to speculate on any charges the driver may face. Their main concern at this point is finding him, and hearing his side of the story.

"A lot of leads for us to run down, so we're going to encourage that to continue. If anybody has any information that they think may be important, or even if they don't think it's important, still give us a call," Bowman said.

Anyone with a tip for police should call East Lampeter Township Police at 717-291-4676.