Tractor-trailer driver flees scene after bus crash on Route 35

The accident happened just after 6:30 a.m., and police say there weren't any kids on the bus.

The accident happened just after 6:30 a.m., and police say there weren't any kids on the bus. (10/23/15)

MIDDLETOWN - Authorities say they are searching for a tractor-trailer driver who fled the scene after an accident on Route 35 near New Monmouth Road.

According to officials, a bus was heading southbound and rear-ended the unoccupied tractor-trailer just after 6:30 a.m.

Police say there weren't any kids on the bus.

Rescue crews worked for about 90 minutes to remove the driver, 65-year-old Beverly Cerbone, from the bus.  She was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center with severe head injuries. Her injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was spotted on surveillance video inside a nearby 7-Eleven.  Police say the driver saw the crash and fled the scene. The police K-9 unit lost the driver's scent on Kings Highway.

The driver is described by police as a Hispanic male with dark hair, who was wearing a black hoodie and jeans with brown work boots.

Route 35 southbound was closed for a time following the accident, but has since been reopened.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to contact the Middletown Police Traffic Bureau at 732-615-2045.

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