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Driver dies in N.M. school bus crash

April 8, 2013 at 8:01 PM

LA MADERA, N.M., April 8 (UPI) -- A school bus crash in New Mexico Monday left the driver dead and two of the nine children on board with broken bones, authorities said.

The bus left New Mexico 111 near La Madera and went down an embankment, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Sheriff's deputies responded to the accident call about 7:30 a.m. local time, the newspaper said.

Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools Superintendent Tracie Phillips identified the contract bus driver as Pat Valdez.

All nine students on board were taken to a hospital, most of them for observation. One student suffered a broken hip and another had a fractured jaw, the newspaper said.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff's spokesman Jake Arnold said Valdez may have suffered a heart attack or other "medical event." An autopsy was to be conducted, he said.

"Obviously this is a terrible tragedy," Phillips said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

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