Three Students Die in Arkansas School Bus Crash

February 24, 2004 - Posted at 7:42 a.m. CDT

HOT SPRINGS, AR - Counselors are to be on hand today at Lake Hamilton High School near Hot Springs, where three students died yesterday when their car was in a crash with a school bus.

The students were two brothers and another youth, all originally from Romania.

State Police say it appears the driver of the car didn't see the school bus.  The bus was moving into a lane to pass another school bus that was turning onto the highway on which the high school sits.

Police say none of the 46 children on the Lake Hamilton school bus was seriously hurt.

The three high school students, all from Hot Springs, were identified as 16-year-old driver Petru Cimuca; Lucian Bencea, also 16, and his 15-year-old brother Andrei Bencea.

The accident occured about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 70 West and Arkansas 192.

The bus driver was not injured.  State Police say no charges will be filed.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)