New York school bus crash: ‘Faulty tyre’ leaves two dead and five critically injured
A school bus accident in New York has tragically resulted in the loss of two lives and left five individuals critically injured. According to officials, the preliminary cause of the incident appears to be a malfunctioning front tire, and an investigation is currently underway.
The charter bus was transporting students from Long Island to a band camp when it veered off the road and overturned into a ditch near the vicinity of Wawayanda. Reports indicate that there were 44 occupants on the bus, all of whom have been transported to six different regional hospitals for urgent medical attention.
The two individuals who tragically lost their lives have been identified as Gina Pellettiere, aged 43, and Beatrice Ferarri, aged 77. Gina Pellettiere was associated with the school’s music program, as indicated on the school’s website.
The Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts, a local community music club in Long Island, notes on its website that she held the position of “director of bands” at Farmingdale High School.
This devastating incident occurred at approximately 13:10 local time (18:10 GMT) on Interstate 84, approximately two hours north of New York City. In response, authorities have temporarily closed the highway to facilitate the necessary investigation and accident scene management.
The bus involved was one of six chartered vehicles responsible for transporting around 300 students from Farmingdale High School’s marching band to a music camp located in Greeley, Pennsylvania.
Photos show the bus on its side with broken windows and a ladder raised up to help rescue people trapped inside.
“A bus that literally tumbled down a 50-ft (15-meter) ravine within minutes. It’s extraordinary,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in an evening news conference.
“While it’s preliminary, it’s likely that a faulty front tyre contributed to the accident. Although, again, this is still under investigation,” she continued.
“That’s a preliminary determination.”
Most of the students on the bus were around 14 or 15 years old. The governor said it took 45 minutes to rescue all of them from the wreckage.
“I feel bad for them. I hope they feel better. I thought the tyre just came off. I didn’t know they crashed and did flips and stuff,” one student told the network.
“I usually take a bus,” another pupil said. “I don’t think I want to take a bus anymore.”
Some pupils said they had seen images of their injured friends on social media.
“My friend came up to me, and showed me a photo, her face was all bloodied and stuff. I started crying,” student Wenel Jen-Babtist told ABC News.
“We saw somebody posting on Snapchat, the bus flipped over, we thought it was a joke at first,” student Sean Jacobs said. “We didn’t even know it was serious. It’s horrible.”
The cause of the accident is under investigation by the New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.
A family reunification center has been set up at the Orange County Community College.
The camp was due to run from Thursday to Sunday.
The uninjured students are expected to return home.