Two seriously injured passengers in stable condition after bus hits overpass, injuring dozens of students

first_imgABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — The two people who suffered serious injuries after a charter bus full of high school students crashed into an overpass in Long Island, New York, are hospitalized in “stable” condition, according to the South Nassau Communities Hospital.They are expected to be discharged in 24 to 48 hours, the hospital said.The top of the bus was sheared off by the impact of the crash, which injured dozens of students. The charter bus was carrying high school students and traveling eastbound on the Southern State Parkway in Lakeview Sunday evening when it slammed into the overpass, police said.Commercial vehicles such as buses are not allowed on New York state parkways because the bridges are so low in certain areas.The injuries ranged from broken bones to cuts and scrapes, New York State Police Maj. David Candelaria said.Besides the two victims who are in “stable” condition, five people suffered moderate injuries while the remainder were minor, police said in a news release.“I think the entire incident could have been a whole lot worse,” Dr. Joshua Kugler, South Nassau Communities Hospital director of emergency services, told ABC New York City station WABC.The hospital’s emergency room doctors expressed surprise that everyone survived the crash, authorities said.“Fate has a lot to do with it,” Kugler told WABC. “People, if they were standing on the bus at any particular time and someone became an airborne projectile, could have had a different outcome.”Forty-four people were aboard the bus: the driver, five adult chaperones and 38 students.“Everybody was able to walk out except one, which we extricated,” Lakeview Fire Department Chief Patrick McNeill said, according to WABC. “There was glass everywhere. The roof of the bus is down to the top of the seat covers.”The teens, all between ages 16 and 18, were returning from John F. Kennedy Airport after a trip to Europe and heading to meet their parents at a nearby mall when the accident happened, authorities said. It was unclear with which schools they were affiliated.“This was treated as a mass-casualty incident,” Candelaria, the state police major, said at a news conference at the scene. “I give credit the Nassau County police ambulance bureau’s emergency services unit and the Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department. They set up a mass-casualty treatment triage and probably saved lives.“We’re very lucky. This could have been tragic,” he added.The bus was operated by New Jersey-based Journey Bus Lines and in a statement, the company told WABC, said, “We’re not making any comments at the moment. Our greatest concern is for is for the passengers and their families.”Police told WABC that the driver, who has been identified as Troy Gaston of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was unaware of the parkway system and the lower overpasses.“I don’t think he had any awareness because if you look at the damage, it’s a high-impact strike,” Candelaria said.The bridge is one of the lowest, if not the lowest, on the entire system, according to WABC.The New York State Police Department said the driver would undergo drug and alcohol testing.This was not a school-sanctioned field trip, WABC reported.Many of the high school students in the area attend Huntington High School, according to WABC.“While injuries apparently ranged in severity, preliminary reports indicate that all have been treated and released, or remain under treatment,” Huntington Union Free School District Superintendent James Polansky said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with all families involved. Student support staff remain on hand at Huntington High School for those in need.”The crash is under investigation. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

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