SUMMIT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A school bus driver was seriously injured when the bus he was driving with students on-board slammed into a tanker truck in Butler County on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened around noon on Route 422 near the intersection of Bonniebrook Road in Summit Township.

Officials say the tanker truck was stopped at a light when the bus crashed into the back of it. It’s still not clear why the driver didn’t stop.

“The school bus rear ended the stopped tractor trailer,” said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Dan Kesten. “As you can see, there’s heavy damage to the school bus.”

Police say the driver, a 67-year-old man from Sharon, had to be cut out of the bus. Rescuers worked for more than an hour to remove him from the crumpled wreckage.

He was then flown to Allegheny General Hospital in serious condition.

Four teenagers from the Indiana Area School District were on the bus at the time. It’s believed they were in Butler County for a band event.

They were taken to the hospital by a teacher who was following the bus. Their injuries were minor.

The driver of the tanker truck suffered some back injuries, but he was not seriously hurt.

Police say a seat belt probably saved the bus driver’s life.

“This crash here is a good depiction of how a seat belt can help somebody,” said Trooper Kesten.

The cause of the crash remains unknown.

Meanwhile, traffic on busy Route 422 was backed up for miles, all afternoon.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Watch & Listen LIVE