The truck that rear-ended a school bus on Flanders Road Sept. 20, seriously injuring its operator. The school bus driver and six children were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Photo: Stringer News Service

(Updated- 8:30 p.m.) A Riverhead school district bus with children aboard was rear-ended by a box truck on Flanders Road in Riverside this afternoon.

The bus driver and six children on the bus were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, Southampton Town Police said in a press release tonight.

The operator of the truck, Juan I. Gillen Jimenez, 42. was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries, police said. He is in stable condition, according to police.

The truck was impounded for a safety check police said.

Because an occupied school bus was involved, authorities declared a mass casualty incident and multiple rescue agencies were called to the scene. Suffolk County’s Major Response Emergency Vehicle was also dispatched.

The crash occurred at about 4:15 p.m. on Flanders Road near Old Quogue Road.

Southampton Town Police patrol units and detectives responded and were assisted by NYSP Motor Carrier Safety Unit police said in the press release. Westhampton Beach Ambulance, Flanders Northampton Ambulance, Southampton Ambulance, Mattituck Ambulance, Flanders Fire Department and Riverhead Fire Department responded and assisted at the scene, according to the release.

It is not clear from which school(s) the bus originated.

Riverhead School Superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore referred all requests for information to local police.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.