Editor's Note: this article was updated at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
7 p.m. update: A pick-up truck driver was killed while 11 intermediate students and a bus driver suffered minor injuries in a collision at Yellowbank and Fischer Boulevard in the afternoon accident.
Damage from a downed traffic light kept southbound lanes closed through 7 p.m., as Toms River Police, utility crews and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office continue to respond to the 2:26 p.m. incident.
Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said 34 students were on the bus, which was southbound on Fischer Boulevard after leaving Toms River Intermediate East. Bus No. 101 collided with a pickup truck that was northbound on Fischer, attempting a left turn onto Yellowbank Road westbound.
The driver of the pickup, Thomas Grouss, a 60 year-old Toms River resident, died as a result of the crash, Mastronardy said.
The bus was evacuated after colliding with a traffic light and a parked car on Ruby Road. Students and the driver were evacuated onto a residential lawn and triaged by emergency responders, Mastronardy said.
Multiple units responded to the intersection: Corporeal Frank Palino supervised the EMS response with ambulances from Island Heights, Tri-Boro, Silverton and Toms River Police EMS.
The 11 students and the bus driver were transported to Community Medical Center but released with very minor injuries, said the police chief. Toms River schools officials assisted reuniting the students with parents, deploying another bus to the scene to pick up the children.
"The school bus was equipped with seat belts, however some of the students admitted they did not have them on but promised they would in the future," said Mastronardy in an email.
4:30 p.m. update: A Toms River school bus accident has closed Fischer Boulevard between Shore Boulevard and Bellcrest Plaza, causing minor injuries to 11 student passengers and serious injuries to the driver of a pick-up truck. The bus driver also reported minor injuries.
Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the bus — No. 101 — was carrying children from Intermediate East when it collided with a pickup truck at about 2:30 p.m.
Students have been picked up from the scene by another Toms River Regional Schools bus.
Parents reported to Toms River Patch that several of the children chose to walk home from the accident scene while others boarded another school bus for transport home.
The 11 students and the bus driver were transported to Community Medical Center and released, Mastronardy said.
The name of the driver of the pick-up truck was not released as of 4:30 p.m.
Toms River Regional staff as well as JCP&L crews were on the scene of the accident to help assist with the response.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office is investigating. The pickup truck has since been removed from the scene.
A downed traffic signal poll at the southwest corner of the intersection near Yellowbank Road and Ruby Road has Fischer Boulevard closed to southbound traffic from Shore Boulevard to Bellcrest Plaza. Yellowbank is closed from Emerald Court to Fischer Boulevard through 3:30 p.m.
The traffic pole was completely downed by the impact, sending the traffic light into the street and knocking it off its steel union. The school bus came to a rest on Ruby Road, which runs parallel with Fischer Boulevard.
Investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, Sheriff's Department and local police remain at the scene. A JCP&L crew also responded.
Toms River Regional is offering support to the families involved and has three resources available, according to a statement released this afternoon: "Any parent whose child was riding in BUS 101 and feels their child is in need of counseling services, please contact the following resources: TLC (732) 773- 8007; Pess (732) 886-4474; Mobile Resources (1877) 652-7624."