Student injured after projectile hits bus carrying high school football team on Hwy 101

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Projectiles are flying near Prunedale. Drivers are being targeted again along Highway 101. One incident sent an object through the window of a silver Mercedes along Northbound Hwy 101, at 4:36 p.m. on Friday.

Six minutes later, another hit a bus carrying Carmel High School football players.

The team was on their way to a playoff game at Branham High School in San Jose.

ABC7 News was there before the game, connecting with concerned parents.

"You're always concerned when kids are traveling, or when there's a bunch of people on a bus. All it takes is one small mistake and a lot of people can get hurt," parent Dan Mikulich told ABC7 News. "And they're precious. They're children. So, we wouldn't want that to happen."

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Monterey region said approximately 20 people were onboard the bus when the projectile went through an emergency window.

One student suffered minor injuries from the broken glass.

Carmel Unified School District alerted it's community with the following message:

"CUSD Families,

This is an important message about our CUSD football team traveling this evening to the playoff game in San Jose. Most importantly, our students and staff are all safe. However, while on the drive to San Jose, the bus was hit by a projectile about 100 yards from the bridge that crosses 101.

The projectile shattered the emergency window spreading glass into the passenger cabin. 911 was called and responded and all students and staff have been examined; they are safe and cleared to play.

CHP are also on the scene checking into this as this area has experienced similar kinds of events. A replacement CUSD bus is on its way and due to the delay."


CHP Monterey explained this is far from the first case of flying projectiles near Prunedale, just east of moss landing.

CHP Officer Jessica Madueno said, "We had a rash of nine during the week of Halloween. Now, with these two incidents, it brings the cases to a total of 40."

Forty similar incidents since February.

Cosima Cristofalo's brother was on the bus. She spoke with him, and said despite the danger, student spirit was high.

"It was shocking at first, but they said everyone's safe and everyone's ready and cleared to play," Cristofalo said. "So, I'm not too worried about it."

However, there is real worry. The CHP doesn't know who is behind these projectiles. The potential for real danger is keeping people who pass through Prunedale on edge.

"They seem to happen in like spurts," Mikulich said about the incidents. "It'll happen tonight, and it won't happen for a while. It's very concerning."

Officer Madueno said, "In case you are a victim of these incidents, we do request that you pull over in a safe location, immediately."

She said drivers should call 9-1-1 and ask to be connected with the CHP.

"Of course, we want to get you the medical attention you need, if any. And we want to pinpoint the exact locations of where this is occurring," Madueno explained. "A lot of the previous incidents have been late reported days later, weeks later. And they're just hard to pinpoint a location after that much time."

The CHP is not releasing details on what objects are causing the damage.
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