An investigation is underway after dozens were injured when a bus filled with high schoolers hit an overpass on Long Island’s Southern State Parkway Sunday, shearing off parts of the vehicle’s roof.
The bus, carrying 38 high school students aged 16 to 18 and five adult chaperones, was traveling from John F. Kennedy International Airport as the students returned from traveling in Europe over spring break, according to CBS. The incident occurred just after 9 p.m., when the bus hit the Eagle Avenue overpass.
44 people are reportedly injured, with two individuals sustaining serious injuries, according to the police. Five people sustained moderate injuries, while the remaining injured passengers received minor cuts and bruises.
“We’re very lucky,” said New York State Police Major David Candelaria during a press conference. “This could have been tragic.”
Local police said it was likely the driver wasn’t local, as he was unaware of the low height of the overpass. The Southern State Parkway is off-limits to large busses. “I don’t think he had any awareness because if you look at the damage, it’s a high impact strike,” said Candelaria. “He obviously wasn’t aware of the parkway system.” The driver has now been named by police as Troy D. Gaston of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
On Friday a bus carrying a Canadian junior ice hockey team killed 15 people in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Humboldt Broncos team, which has members aged between 16 and 21, was on its way to a game when the bus collided with a truck.