Teen driver critical after crash with Lakota school bus

Three students on bus received minor injuries, officials said.

LIBERTY TWP. — A Lakota Local Schools bus crash left three students with minor injuries and a teen driver of a another vehicle in critical condition after he was cut out of a car.

The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Lesourdsville-West Chester and Yamasee roads in Liberty Twp. The accident involved bus No. 122, which departed from VanGorden Elementary, and one other vehicle, Lakota officials said.

Butler County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Poff said the driver of the car, 18-year-old Diego Panzo, was trapped in the wrecked silver Nissan Altima, which struck the left front portion of the bus. He was taken to U.C. West Chester hospitcal, then to the U.C. Hospital Main Campus with life-threatening injuries.

Poff, of county’s Serious Accident Reconstruction Team, said the preliminary investigation indicates Panzo went left of center, striking the bus.

“It is still under investigation. We don’t know the reason he crossed the centerline,” Poff said. “We are waiting to get the video from the bus because they all have dash cams.”

The bus had 48 students and a driver on board.

“The driver of the school bus was not injured. Three students reported injuries. Of the three, two were treated at the scene and released to their parents. One student was transported to Cincinnati Children Liberty Twp. campus with minor injuries,” according to the sheriff’s office.

VanGorden Elementary school families whose children were on the bus were alerted soon after the crash by district officials and told to come to the school to pick up their children.

Staff Writer Michael Clark contributed to this report.

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