Bus driver dies after school bus crash in Taranaki, 10 children taken to hospital

The driver of a school bus that crashed in Taranaki today has died.

The cordon near the scene of the school bus crash in Taranaki. Source: rnz.co.nz

Thirteen passengers received minor injuries when the school bus crashed on State Highway 3, north of Inglewood, at 3.30pm.

Students from Inglewood High School were on board.

The driver, a 69-year-old man, died, after the bus went down a ditch. 

St John ambulance this evening told 1 NEWS all passengers have now been assessed by ambulance staff. 

Police say there were 13 passengers aged 12-17 on board.

Ten were taken to Taranaki Base Hospital, and nine of those have now been discharged with the one remaining in a stable condition.

Earlier police said the bus was on route 3022 and parents of children who were on this bus were asked to go to Inglewood High School. 

The road is closed near the intersection with King Road and traffic is being diverted at the intersection of State Highway 3 and Lepper Road. 

The road is expected to re-open in two hours but be closed again tomorrow morning, to enable the removal of the bus.

It's the third bus crash recently.

A Ruapehu Alpine Lifts shuttle bus crashed on Ōhakune Mountain Road on Mount Ruapehu, killing 11 year old Auckland girl Hannah Francis late last month.

And on August 2 a bus of the same make carrying 19 people flipped into a ditch at Rongotea, south of Sanson in Manawatu carrying iwi members returning from Parliament.

The occupants suffered moderate injuries.

Emergency services say the bus went down the side of a bank and into a ditch near Inglewood. Source: 1 NEWS