NORTH READING (CBS) — Seven people were hurt after a special needs van hit a guard rail and rolled over in North Reading, the fire department said. All of their injuries were minor.
First responders rushed to Park Street and Central Street around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday to find the van flipped over in a flooded marsh area. “The vehicle came to rest on its roof in 3-4 inches of water,” police said.
The driver and six adult passengers in the van had their seatbelts on and were working to get themselves out, said the fire department.
Everyone was then transported to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, mostly with cuts and bruises from trying to get themselves out of the van.
Capt. Matt Carroll said, “You see a van that’s obviously a special needs van and think the worst and we were very fortunate to find seven people that were able to almost self-extricate themselves, rescue themselves, to get them to the roadway where we could treat them.”
Chief Murphy said in a statement, “Two residents who saw the crash wasted no time in acting to help the passengers inside the van, and I want to thank them for the important role they played in helping emergency personnel bring everyone to safety.”
The fire department was forced to call neighboring towns for assistance because they usually only have one ambulance working at a time.
It is unclear what caused the van to roll over.
The van’s company, American Training, did not comment.