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Bus carrying highschool college students to band camp crashes, killing 2 and critically injuring others

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Emergency responders work the scene of a bus crash, in Wawayanda, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. The constitution bus carrying highschool college students to a band camp hurtled off a New York freeway and down an embankment, killing one particular person and hurting dozens of others, officers mentioned. NBC New York by way of AP

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (AP) — A constitution bus carrying highschool college students to a band camp veered off a New York freeway and tumbled down an embankment Thursday, killing two adults and critically injuring a number of others, officers mentioned.

The bus was certainly one of six in a caravan taking the marching band, colour guard and dancers from Farmingdale Excessive College on Lengthy Island on a beloved annual journey to a camp in Greeley, in northeastern Pennsylvania.

It was solely about half-hour from its vacation spot when the wreck occurred a little bit after 1 p.m. on Interstate 84 within the city of Wawayanda, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of New York Metropolis.

A tire failure might have been in charge for the bus going off the highway, Gov. Kathy Hochul mentioned.

The 2 adults who died have been the highschool’s band director, Gina Pellettiere, 43, of Massapequa, and a retired trainer Beatrice Ferrari, 77, of Farmingdale.

5 of the 44 passengers on board have been hospitalized in important situation, in line with state police.

Farmingdale pupil Anthony Eugenio, 15, was asleep on the bus when he felt a thud and awoke to what he thought was a dream or nightmare. The bus felt as if it was tipping. Then he felt himself tumbling — what number of occasions he can’t recall — as he tried to tug his sweatshirt hood from over his eyes.

“Then everybody was yelling,” he mentioned. “The child subsequent to me was lined in blood. I noticed blood in every single place.”

He crawled out of the overturned bus by a window, dazed however solely scraped and bruised. As soon as exterior, he discovered his backpack, which had been thrown from the wreck, and his lacking shoe.

Information helicopter footage confirmed tire tracks on the roadway and a path of ripped-up grass and shrubs on the embankment. Hochul mentioned the bus tumbled 50 ft down the steep slope in a large median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the freeway. The bus got here to relaxation on its left facet, its roof warped. A ladder allowed rescuers to succeed in the home windows.

A September journey to band camp is an annual custom on the suburban highschool, which has round 1,700 college students. Members of the band, colour guard and the college’s kick line staff attend, in addition to grownup chaperones. Throughout some years, greater than 300 college students have gone on the journey to rehearse and have enjoyable in rural Pennsylvania.

The bus crashed about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the Pine Forest Camp, the place the scholars have been headed.

Lots of the 40 college students on the bus have been freshmen, Hochul mentioned. “They endured. They have been robust,” she mentioned.

College students on the opposite buses returned to Lengthy Island hours after the crash. Six space hospitals handled the injured.

Anthony Eugenio, who spoke to The Related Press from a automobile as his mom drove him residence, mentioned his thought because the bus turned again and again was “This could’t be actual.”

Bruce Blakeman, the county government in Nassau County, the place Farmingdale Excessive College is situated, requested that individuals please “pray for the injured.”

Calvan and Related Press author Karen Matthews reported from New York Metropolis. Michael Hill and Maysoon Khan contributed from Albany. Carolyn Thompson contributed from Buffalo.