HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A bus carrying up to 50 people traveling from New York to Ohio crashed and hit another vehicle on a Pennsylvania interstate, killing three passengers, state police said.
The wreck happened during heavy rain around 11:50 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 81 just north of Harrisburg, state police said.
The bus drove off the road, struck an embankment, rolled onto its right side and hit the back of a car that was stopped in the right lane, according to a crash report.
Three passengers were declared dead at the scene, the police report said, and others suffered injuries that ranged from minor to severe.
Matthew Oshiafi, a passenger on the bus operated by the Super Lucky Tour Company of Boston, told Pennlive.com that he remembered a terrible screeching and shuddering before the bus crashed and flipped. He said he was sitting in the last row.
Oshiafi, 39, a New York City resident who was headed to Cincinnati to visit family, said the crash threw people from their seats and left some piled on top of others. He heard people screaming and saw people around him severely injured or unconscious.
Oshiafi said he saw a couple in a nearby seat with a baby and noticed the woman appeared to be unconscious and the man was trying to help her. The man handed the baby to Oshiafi, who said he passed the baby through the broken bus windshield to emergency responders.
“I’m shaking,” he told the newspaper on Monday, about 10 hours after the crash. “I know people have died.”
A Milton S. Hershey Medical Center spokesperson said it helped 28 patients from the crash, ages 1 to 69. Three were admitted, one in critical condition. Three others were being evaluated and 22 were discharged. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Community Osteopathic treated 21 patients, treating and releasing 20 of them; one adult remained hospitalized, the medical center said.
A Red Cross-run reception center at a nearby fire company closed late Monday after helping 23 adults and two children, feeding them and offering emotional support.
A Dauphin County spokesperson said information about the people who died was not immediately available through the coroner’s office.
The name of the bus driver has not been released. Trooper Megan Frazer said Monday morning that more details about the wreck might not be released by police until Tuesday.
Peter Chan, the bus company manager, said in a brief phone interview Monday that he was “very sorry to hear about the accident” but had no further information because he hadn’t been able to talk to the driver, who was injured in the crash and remains hospitalized.