OLD BRIDGE, N.J. — Police in Old Bridge, N.J., say a New York-bound commuter bus hit a mini school bus from behind in a crash that injured at least 17, two critically.

Police Capt. Arthur Carullo says the two most severely injured in Thursday morning’s accident were both on the commuter bus and included the driver, whose legs were pinned.

No students were on the school bus, which landed on its side. The police captain says the driver and an aide on that bus were able to escape on their own through a roof hatch.

Both buses were headed northbound. The accident apparently occurred in the shoulder, which becomes a bus lane during rush hour.

School officials said no students were on the Old Bridge school bus, which landed on its side along Route 9.

The accident occurred one day after a high-speed commuter ferry from New Jersey crashed into a dock in Manhattan, injuring dozens.

Television footage showed the commuter bus slammed into a tree, with a large branch protruding from the roof on the passenger side of the front end. The rear of the bus was pinned against a utility pole.

The commuter bus was about midway through its route from Toms River to Wall Street in Manhattan, with four stops left on the run, said Joe Orlando, spokesman for Academy Bus. He didn’t know how many passengers were aboard though said the bus could carry 55.

Two crash victims, a man, 42, and a woman, 31, were reported in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center. Fifteen others were in stable condition at branches of Raritan Bay Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

The school bus landed on a fenced-off generator for an apartment complex.