A chartered bus carrying high school students and their adult chaperones crashed into a bridge in Boston, injuring more than 30 people, said Massachusetts State Police.
The accident happened Saturday night as the Destined for a Dream Foundation group was returning to the Philadelphia area after visiting Harvard University.
Boston EMS reported injuries to 34 people, with one person hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and three others seriously injured. The other passengers sustained minor injuries.
Authorities are investigating the incident, and have not charged the driver, Samuel J. Jackson, 66, of Philadelphia as of Sunday evening, said David Procopio, spokesman for the State Police. Bus owner Raymond Talmedge said police are interviewing Jackson, who apparently didn’t see a sign banning vehicles from that particular route.
Authorities are examining the bus, and a collision reconstruction team is working on a report that will take up to six weeks to finish, Procopio said.
Jackson may have been checking his GPS at the time of the accident, said Talmadge. “He said he looked at the GPS, looked down to make the turn, and when he looked back up, the bridge was a low bridge. He hit the low bridge,” Talmadge told ABC-6 TV in Philadelphia. Jackson has not yet commented on the incident.
Mary Slayton of Bistol, Pennsylvania, said her nephew, a student, and her sister, a chaperone, were on the bus when the accident occurred. He escaped without injury, but her sister is hospitalized at Brigham and Women’s after severe injury to her neck, spine, and head. She might have to stay at the hospital for a week. “She’s not doing well,” Slayton said. “She’s a little out of it.
The Destined for a Dream Foundation’s website states that the group offers educational and athletic programs to underprivileged students. Jeff Neal, a Harvard spokesman, said that the Philadelphia area students toured the Harvard campus on Sunday afternoon, led by staff in the Harvard Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program of the university’s admissions office.
The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts is housing family members of some of the injured passengers in local hotels, and providing mental health specialists, said spokeswoman Kat Powers.
Massachusetts Bus Accident Lawyers
Our Massachusetts Bus Accident Attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP have been representing injury victims for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been injured on a bus, train, airplane or other mode of transportation, please contact us at 617-492-3000 or by email for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation.
Boston Bus Crash: Charter Bus Hits Overpass, Injuring Dozens, www.huffingtonpost.com, February 2, 2013.
One still critical after bus accident in Boston, bostonglobe.com, February 3, 2013.