ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Authorities have released a dramatic video showing the moment a car slammed into a school bus, causing it to roll over while children were inside.
Albuquerque Police said the crash happened Feb. 13.
Officers charged Mario Perez, 49, with two counts of great bodily harm by vehicle, a third-degree felony. However, they are asking for the public’s help in locating another driver who was possibly involved and got away from the scene. Witnesses told authorities that the other driver was in a blue Ford Mustang.
Police said officers responded to the crash at Gibson Blvd. S.W. and Messina Dr. S.W. after 5 p.m. local time. They believed Perez was racing another driver when he crashed a white Ford Mustang into the school bus.
One witness estimated the drivers hit speeds of approximately 110 mph. The posted speed limit for the area of the crash is 40 mph. A witness did tell officers the blue Mustang continued Westbound on Gibson Blvd. and did not stop.
The white Mustang crashed into the passenger side of the school bus near the rear wheel, forcing the bus to roll over onto the driver’s side.
Video shows children screaming seconds before and after impact. It also shows them gathering their things and carefully exiting the bus with the aid of other children and adults.
Police said 23 students were on board. Seven children were taken to local hospitals to be examined. Two students received "sustained serious injuries" to their legs. One student had to undergo surgery while another needed surgery for a pelvic fracture.
Meanwhile, Perez was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital for a broken femur. Police said they didn’t find any signs of impairment or intoxication.
The Ford Mustang was sealed and towed.
Police said the crash happened hours they announced a Traffic Division pilot program to target drivers speeding and racing on city streets and increase enforcement. The hope for this program is to change driver behavior and prevent crashes.
If the public has any information about the other driver seen in a blue Ford Mustang at the time of the crash, please contact (505)-242-COPS.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.