The mother of a 17-year-old Bucks County boy who remained in critical condition at a Boston hospital after the bus he and a group of fellow students hit an overpass over the weekend thanks everyone for their support.
In a statement released today Megan Cruz says her son Matthew is aware of what's happening as he recovers from his injuries:
"I understand that a lot of people have interest in my family. Matthew is badly injured and we’re hoping and praying for the best recovery possible. Matthew is alert and aware of what’s happening, and he’s cooperating with his doctors. As far as how the accident happened, I don’t know.
"We have received so much love and support from the people of Boston, including Mayor Thomas Menino. The staff at Boston Medical Center has been wonderful. We also have received incredible support from all of our family and friends back home. Again, we are so appreciative of the support from Philadelphia and Boston.
"At this time, my family and I are entirely focused on Matthew and we will not be speaking with reporters."
Cruz suffered the most severe injuries when a bus full of Destined for a Dream Foundation teens and chaperones struck an overpass in the Allston neighborhood shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, according to the Boston Fire Department.
In total 33 students and nine chaperones from the Bristol, Pa.-based nonprofit the helps underprivileged young people were on board the Calvery Coach bus.
In total 39 people, including the driver, were hurt and 35 of them went to the hospital, according to officials.
Authorities said that many of the victims suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from five Boston-area hospitals. Twenty-eight of the victims were discharged from the hospitals and returned home Sunday night.
NBC10 spoke with some of the victims as well as their family members.
"There was a lot of glass, a lot of screaming and a lot of crying," said Gregory Harris, the Vice President of Destined for a Dream. "I believe I may have passed out during that time."
"We're really blessed because it could have been so much worse," said Erica Waller-Hill, the founder of "Destined for a Dream." "These kids have been wonderful. They've stayed strong during this adverse time. So we're going to get them connected back with their loved ones."
Police identified the driver as Samuel Jackson, 66, who works for Calvary Coach Bus located at N 28th Street in Philadelphia. State Police said the bus was too high for the roadway and Jackson was driving on the side of the highway reserved for cars when he tried to pass under a bridge with only 10-foot clearance.
State police are investigating whether charges are warranted against Jackson after he apparently failed to see the sign prohibiting the vehicle from taking that route.
Several passengers were trapped on the bus for hours. Firefighters stood on top of the bus using boards to extract them.
NBC10 spoke with Ray Talmadge, the owner of Calvary Coach Bus, about the cause of the accident.
"He looked at his GPS," said Talmadge. "He looked down and when he looked back up, he saw a low bridge and he hit the low bridge."
NBC10 also checked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration site and discovered that the Calvary Coach Bus company committed three violations for "driver's record of duty status not current." Despite the violations, no crashes have been reported for the company in the U.S. and Canada in the past two years before Saturday's accident.
Photos posted on the Fire Department's website showed firefighters extracting people from the bus.
The accident happened on Soldiers Field Road, a major crosstown roadway in Boston that curves along the Charles River and passes by Harvard and Boston University. It is a major roadway to the Massachusetts Turnpike. The bus has been cleared from the accident scene.
An investigation into the crash continues.