A bus full of Italian tourists collided with two tractor trailers on the morning of Wednesday, June 3 in Pennsylvania’s Poconos. The accident left three dead and at least a dozen more injured.
The crash occurred on Interstate 380 northbound in Tobyhanna Township, which is near Mount Pocono, around 10 a.m. at mile marker four.
Although the cause of the accident is still under investigation, initial reports say that one of the trucks was heading southbound and crossed the median, where it hit the bus head-on in the opposite lane.
The bus was full of Italian tourists who had left New York City around 7:30 a.m. on a bus bound for Niagara Falls. According to national statistics, around 4,000 people in the United States are killed each year as a result of trucking accidents.
The front of the bus was crushed in the accident and had been wedged into the side of one tractor trailer. The trailer was torn in half during the accident, and the truck’s cab flipped onto its side in the woods next to the road.
The bus company, Academy Bus, released a statement confirming that one of the three left dead was the bus driver. Of the more than one dozen who were injured, four had to be flown to nearby trauma centers, and two were left in critical condition.
“We offer our condolences to the family of this valued member of our Academy team, as well as to the families of others tragically affected by this accident,” Academy bus representatives said in an issued statement. “We also extend our thoughts to the injured.”
According to representatives, the driver had had more than a decade of experience behind the wheel of charter buses like the one involved in the accident.
The tractor trailer that had been torn in half was leased by the Xtra Lease company, but it was unknown who specifically was using the vehicle, according to the company’s attorney.
The southbound section of the interstate remained closed until about 2 p.m. Wednesday, with the northbound side reopening much later.
The same stretch of highway is also famous for a bus crash in 1990 involving the tour bus carrying singer Gloria Estefan. A tractor trailer had crashed into her bus in that incident, which resulted in broken vertebrae for the singer as she headed to a concert in Syracuse, NY.