A relieved and grateful school board director in northeastern Ontario says a school bus crash yesterday on Highway 17 could have been a lot worse.

The director of education for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, John Stadnyk, said 55 children, plus teachers and chaperones from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Elliot Lake, were on a field trip to Mississuagi First Nation yesterday morning when their school bus was rear-ended by a transport truck.

He drove from Sault Ste. Marie to Elliot Lake and saw the crash on the way.

"We could see the bus and the tractor trailer," Stadnyk said.

"The trailer appeared to have the most damage… I was quite surprised that the … bus was actually in pretty good shape considering the collision."

Investigation still underway

Stadnyk noted one girl suffered whiplash type injuries and another was cut by broken glass.

A teacher's hip was also injured in the crash.

Stadnyk said counselling services were made available to the students. He noted, for the most part, parents have been calm but want more information as to what happened.

The 60-year-old man who was driving the tractor trailer has been charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Provincial police said the investigation is ongoing.