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School bus torn apart in dump truck collision, killing 2

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (AP) — A school bus taking children on a field trip to a historic site collided with a dump truck on Thursday, ripping the bus apart and killing a student and a teacher.

The crash left the bus lying on its side on the guardrail of Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, its undercarriage and front end sheared off and its steering wheel exposed.

Some of the victims crawled out of the emergency exit in the back and an escape hatch on the roof. More than 40 people were taken to hospitals.

Fifth-grade student Theo Ancevski, who was sitting in the fourth row of the bus and was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes, said he heard a scraping sound and the bus “toppled over.”

“A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts,” he said.

Gov. Phil Murphy said one adult and one student were killed.

Their names had not been released. Murphy said the truck driver was hospitalized, but officials didn’t reveal his condition.

The front end of the red dump truck was mangled in the wreck, which took place about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of New York.

The truck was registered to Mendez Trucking, of Belleville, and had “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the back of it.

The bus had entered westbound Interstate 80 from southbound U.S.

Highway 206, police said. Cleanup crews loaded its wreckage onto a flat-bed truck on Thursday night as they cleared the roadway.

Police didn’t release details of how the crash happened, but the trucking company had a string of crashes in recent years and a higher than average rate of violations that sidelined its vehicles, according to federal safety data.

There were 45 people, including 38 students, on the bus.

Forty-three people from the bus and the truck driver were hospitalized, some in critical condition.

The bus was owned by the school district and had seatbelts, according to Paramus schools superintendent Michele Robinson. There is no federal requirement for seatbelts on full-sized school buses, but six states including New Jersey require them.

The bus was one of three taking students from East Brook Middle School to Waterloo Village, a historic site depicting a Lenape Indian community and once-thriving port about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the crash scene. The other buses made it to the site but returned to the school about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.

Some of the children were inside the bus and some were outside when first responders arrived, said Jeff Paul, director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.

“We had patients laying all over the median and on the interstate,” Paul said. “There were all kinds of injuries, every injury type you could expect in a crash of this magnitude.”

Thuy Nguyen, a nurse from Paramus, said she rushed to the school, where her son was taking a test after hearing the news.

“My heart just dropped.

You hear the name of the school … ,” she said before trailing off.

Robinson said the district was cancelling school trips for the rest of the year.

Mendez Trucking has about 40 drivers and trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Its trucks had been in seven crashes, none fatal, during the last two years before Thursday’s crash, the FMCSA says. Messages left with the company weren’t returned.

Mendez has a higher than average vehicle out-of-service rate, which means inspections found violations that had to be corrected before the vehicles could be returned to service.

Mendez’s rate was 37.9 percent, according to the FMCSA, while the national average is 20.7 percent.

A Mendez-owned dump truck driven by a driver police say had a suspended license struck and killed a French fashion stylist in New York in January 2011, according to court records.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 118 people on school buses were killed in crashes from 2007 to 2016, the last year for which data is available.

Of those killed, 68 were passengers, including 58 school-age children, and 50 were drivers. School bus crashes killed 902 people in other vehicles over that span.

___

Porter reported from Morristown, and Sisak reported from Philadelphia.

Associated Press writers Shawn Marsh in Trenton, Mike Catalini in Paramus and Christina Paciolla, Jeff McMillan, Alexandra Villarreal and Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia contributed to this report as did investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York.

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

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MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (AP) – A school bus taking children on a field trip to a New Jersey historic site collided with a dump truck Thursday, ripping the bus apart and killing a teacher and student. The crash left the bus lying on its side on the guardrail of Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, its undercarriage and front end sheared off and its steering wheel exposed. Some of the victims crawled out of the emergency exit in the back and an escape hatch on the roof.

More than 40 people were taken to area hospitals. “I heard a scraping sound and we toppled over the highway,” said student Theo Ancevski, who was sitting in the fourth row of the bus and was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes. “A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts.”

Emergency personnel examine a school bus after it collided with a dump truck, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) New Jersey Gov.

Phil Murphy said that one adult and one student were killed. Murphy said the driver of the truck was alive at the hospital, but officials didn’t reveal his condition. The front end of the red dump truck was mangled in the wreck, which took place about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of New York.

The truck was registered to Mendez Trucking, of Belleville, and had “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the back of it. Police didn’t release details of how the crash happened, but the trucking company had a string of crashes in recent years and a higher than average rate of violations that sidelined its vehicles, according to federal safety data. There were 45 people, including 38 students, on the bus.

Forty-three people from the bus and the truck driver were taken to three area hospitals, where some were listed in critical condition. The bus was owned by the school district and had seat belts, according to Paramus schools superintendent Michele Robinson. There is no federal requirement for seat belts on full-sized school buses, but six states including New Jersey require them.

The bus was taking students from East Brook Middle School to Waterloo Village, a historic site depicting a Lenape Indian community and once-thriving port about 5 miles from the crash scene. Some of the children were still inside the bus and some were outside when first responders arrived, according to Jeff Paul, director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management. “We had patients laying all over the median and on the interstate,” Paul said. “There were all kinds of injuries, every injury type you could expect in a crash of his magnitude.”

Paul said some of the first responders were “very emotionally upset. It was a rough scene to see.” Zainab Qureshi, 11, told The Record she was on one of the two buses not involved in the crash.

She said those two buses made it to Waterloo Village, but they were told about a half hour later that they had to return to school because of bad weather. Qureshi said students on the other buses didn’t find out about the crash until they arrived back at school about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the crash site and were reunited with their parents. Thuy Nguyen, a nurse from Paramus, said she rushed to the school where her son was taking a test after hearing the news.

“My heart just dropped, You hear the name of the school…” she said before trailing off. Robinson said that the district was cancelling school trips for the rest of the year. Mendez Trucking has about 40 drivers and trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Its trucks have been in seven crashes in the last two years, none before Thursday’s fatal, according to FMCSA. A message left with the company wasn’t returned. Mendez has a higher than average vehicle out-of-service rate, which means inspections found violations which had to be corrected before the vehicle could be returned to service.

Mendez’s rate was 37.9 percent, according to FMCSA. The national average is 20.7. Mendez trucks have racked up more than 130 violations in the last two years, according to FMCSA, including 27 for excessive weight, 17 for leaking, spilling or falling cargo and four speeding violations – three of them this year.

Mendez was fined £22,850 in 2016 for violating regulations on inspections, repairs and maintenance and post-crash drug and alcohol testing, according to the FMCSA. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 118 people on school buses were killed in crashes from 2007-2016, the last year for which data is available. Of those killed, 68 were passengers – including 58 school-age children – and 50 were drivers.

School bus crashes killed 902 people in other vehicles over that span. ___ Porter reported from Morristown and Sisak reported from Philadelphia.

Associated Press writers Shawn Marsh, in Trenton, Mike Catalini in Paramus, and Jeff McMillan, Alexandra Villarreal, and Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia, contributed to this story.

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a school bus and dump truck collision, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a school bus and dump truck collision, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

This image taken from WABC-TV video shows an overturned school bus after it collided with a dump truck, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (WABC-TV via AP)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

A dump truck sits near the scene after a collision with a school bus in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Jay Faltings via AP)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a school bus and dump truck collision, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a school bus and dump truck collision, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a school bus and dump truck collision, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel respond to a crash after a school bus and dump truck collided in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Jay Faltings via AP)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel examine a school bus after it collided with a dump truck, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Bob Karp/The Daily Record via AP)

School bus collides with truck, killing teacher and student

Emergency personnel examine a school bus after it collided with a dump truck, injuring multiple people, on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, N.J., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Bob Karp/The Daily Record via AP)

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Multiple deaths reported after US school bus and truck collide

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A US school bus taking children on a field trip to a New Jersey historic site has collided with a dump truck leaving a number of people dead. The front end of the school bus appeared to be ripped off in the accident on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive. The Morris County prosecutor’s office said that there were multiple fatalities in the crash but it declined to say how many or reveal the victims’ identities before their families are notified.

The wrecked school bus in New Jersey (Chrissy Oleszek via AP)

A red dump truck with a mangled front end was parked along the highway nearby, about 50 miles west of New York. The truck was registered to Mendez Trucking, of Belleville, and had “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the back of it. “It’s a horrific scene,” Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum said.

“Our hearts are broken by today’s tragedy,” Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said.

Multiple deaths reported after US school bus and truck collide

Emergency personnel at the scene (Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media via AP) Paramus Public Schools said that the bus was taking students from East Brook Middle School to Waterloo Village, which is about five miles from the crash scene. Students on two other buses on the field trip returned to the school about 50 miles from the crash site and were reunited with their parents, said Paramus police commissioner Holly Tedesco.

Zainab Qureshi, 11, said she was on one of the two buses not involved in the crash. She said those two buses made it to Waterloo Village, but they were told by teachers that they had to return to school because of bad weather.

Multiple deaths reported after US school bus and truck collide

A dump truck sits near the scene after a collision with a school bus (Jay Faltings/AP) She said students did not find out about the accident until they arrived back at school.

Mendez Trucking has about 40 drivers and trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Its trucks have been in seven crashes in the last two years, none of them fatal, according to the FMCSA. Mendez was fined in 2016 for violating regulations on inspections, repairs and maintenance and post-crash drug and alcohol testing, according to the FMCSA.

“From what I saw, the red truck was destroyed, but the bus appeared worse,” Manuel Absalon, a tourist from Mexico driving by the crash site, told WNBC-TV. “It looked like it was broken in half.”

Waterloo Village is a historic site depicting a Lenape Indian community and once-thriving port along the Morris Canal in north-western New Jersey.

It features several historic homes, a blacksmith shop, general store and more.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

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