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First responders are seen at the site of a Tri-County CAP bus rollover in Pinkham Notch on Tuesday morning. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)

JACKSON — A bus driver "miraculously" escaped serious injury when her bus flipped over in Pinkham Notch on Route 16 on Tuesday morning.

Jackson Police Chief Chris Perley said that  at about 9 a.m. the police department received an emergency call for a mini-bus that rolled over on Route 16 just north of the old Dana Place. 

"It was originally reported that there could be mass casualties," said Perley, adding the vehicle was a small school bus being used by Tri-County Community Action.

He note that the bus didn't appear to be one the Tri-County CAP uses for its Blue Loon bus service.

Upon arrival, Patrol Officer 1st Class Ryan McDonald and Perley found that the driver, Laura Penney, 62, of Berlin was the only occupant of the bus.

Penney told police she was heading south when her vehicle 'inexplicably veered to the right.' Perley said it went onto the soft shoulder and then into a graded and wooded area where the bus rolled over. 

"Miraculously, she did not have any serious injuries," said Perley. "She was seat-belted and this is a testament that seat belts save lives because the vehicle was totaled." 

Penney was evaluated by McDonald, who is an EMT, as well as Bartlett/Jackson Ambulance personnel. She was not taken to the hospital.

"It was a violent rollover crash, but she was virtually uninjured," said Perley.

New Hampshire State Police Troop G is investigating whether there was a mechanical failure with the bus.

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