Tourists, commuters, and others have a broad array of choices when it comes to ground transportation. They can buy or rent a personal vehicle, take mass transit, charter a bus, or rely on travel by rail on a train. Each of these modes of transportation come with their own risks and benefits. For instance rail travel in the United States may be relatively expensive, but it was regularly considered to be one of the safest methods of transportation prior to the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia. However that brutal crash may have changed perception at home and abroad regarding the safety of our commuter rail systems.
Perhaps the death of Italian businessman Giuseppe Piras just weeks previous to this accident was taken into consideration when the Italian tourists decided to travel by charter bus. Or perhaps this latest tragedy is just an especially ill-timed coincidence. In either case, we send our prayers and condolences the victims and the families of the victims of this bus crash.
How Did the Accident Occur?
A bus chartered by the Italian tour operator Viaggidea and operated by Academy Bus was carrying Italian tourists to their destination at Niagara Falls New York. The bus had left from the New York Metro area and had traveled roughly a quarter of the way to its destination. Then, at approximately 10 a.m. while traveling through Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain region on I-380, tragedy struck. The charter bus collided with a tractor trailer in a violent accident. While some reports have indicated that a second commercial truck may have been involved in the accident, police have yet to substantiate or confirm these claims.
The tractor-trailer was sliced in half by the bus’ body. During the accident, the trailer cab detached from the trailer and careened towards the woods lining this portion of Interstate 380. The cab came to rest on its side with one axle fully torn off in the woods. The front-end of the bus was found positioned upright, perpendicular to the roadway, and wedged into the commercial truck’s trailer. An individual living near the scene of the crash spoke with reporters, but only revealed that he had heard a loud crash and then, “all of a sudden people were screaming.”
Did the Accident Cause Injuries or Death?
The bus was carrying seventeen passengers plus the driver when it hit the commercial truck. Unfortunately this violent accident resulted in 3 deaths and many injuries. Academy bus has revealed that the bus driver, a veteran driver for more than a decade, was among those killed in the accident. The cause of the driver’s death has not been disclosed by the police or the bus company. Also killed in the accident are two Italian tourists. The cause of their deaths has also not been released. Reporters from the Associated Press reached out late Wednesday evening to the Italian parent company and its subsidiary, but neither company has commented or provided additional information on the cause of the accident or the cause of the death. Four more individuals on the bus were sent to a local area hospital where they are listed as being in critical condition. 12 others appeared to suffer mild to moderate injuries. While reports on the exact injuries have not been received, common mild to moderate injuries can include cuts, bruises, lacerations, a mild to moderate TBI, and other conditions. The truck driver appears to be uninjured.
As additional information concerning the accident becomes available, the attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm will continue to update the situation. We send our most sincere condolences to the family members of those severely injured or killed in this horrific accident.