Fatal School Bus Crash Under Investigation by NTSB and NY State Police


A fatal accident involving a bus laden with numerous high school students is currently under scrutiny by both the National Transportation Safety Board and the New York State Police, in an attempt to unravel the cause of the tragic accident that sent the bus hurtling into a ravine, resulting in the deaths of two adults on board.

An investigative team is slated to reach the scene of the tragic incident, located on the Interstate 84 in the town of Wawayanda, roughly 70 miles removed from New York City, as early as Friday morning, according to the NTSB.

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Based on provisional information, it is believed that a defective front tire may have contributed to the unfortunate occurrence, noted the authorities during a Thursday evening briefing. However, the investigation into the fatal mishap is far from concluded.

The ill-fated bus, accompanied by five others, was en route to a band camp event in Pennsylvania from Long Island’s Farmingdale School District on Thursday when disaster struck, according to a statement from the school district.

Responding to the distress call concerning a commercial bus that had rolled over around 1:12 pm on Thursday, the New York State Police found 40 students from Farmingdale High School and four adults on the crashed bus, revealed Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone at a press meet later in the day.

The fatalities were identified as 43-year-old Gina Pellettiere and 77-year-old Beatrice Ferrari. Mazzone also reported several injured passengers, including five in critical condition, who were transported to six nearby hospitals. He did not elaborate further on their conditions.

The Farmingdale students had embarked on their trip with enthusiasm, recounting their morning excitement, Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Executive, expressed his grief at how a day animated with promise had ended in tragedy.

Describing the horrifying incident, Governor Kathy Hochul shared how the bus carrying 40 students rolled down a 50-foot ravine. Television footage displayed the stricken bus lying on one side, ensnared by trees. She painted a vivid picture of the students’ fear, their screams, and the ensuing chaos before they were finally rescued within 45 minutes by an exceptional rescue team.

During her statement, the governor expressed her gratitude to the first responders for their rapid and selfless response at the accident site. She highlighted their bravery as they literally ran towards the potential danger, oblivious to the possibility of the bus exploding.

In encouragement to all, Blakeman advised holding their children tight and reminding them of how precious life is. He also expressed his gratitude to the law enforcement and first responders, acknowledging that without their prompt actions, the casualty figure might have been much worse.