1 Dead After School Bus and Tractor-Trailer Collide

The accident happened in Western Pa. Wednesday afternoon.

A tractor-trailer collided with a school bus carrying two dozen students and adults Wednesday in western Pennsylvania, killing the truck driver and injuring at least 20 people, most of them students, authorities said.

The crash occurred on Route 281 near Rockwood just after 2:30 p.m., state police said. The truck and a school bus taking students from the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District to a vocational and technical school in Somerset struck each other.

State Police Cpl. Mark Kraynick said the driver, who was not identified, was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Greg Chiappelli, a spokesman for Somerset Hospital, said school superintendent Darlene Pritt told him a total of two dozen people were on the bus _ 22 students and two adults including the driver. WTAE-TV reported that the students aboard the bus were in grades 10 through 12.

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Two adults and three juveniles were flown to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, according to spokeswoman Amy Bradley. She said the victims were being evaluated and she had no information about their condition.

Chiappelli said eight people were brought to Somerset Hospital by ambulance and another seven to 10 people with minor injuries came in by bus. He did not know the severity of the injuries or say how many involved children.

Footage from television station WPXI helicopter suggests the vehicles collided on a rural highway. The main body of the bus appeared to be intact and was perpendicular to the truck on the two-lane road.

On Tuesday, a tourist bus carrying mostly students returning from a Swiss ski vacation home to Belgium slammed head-on into a concrete wall in a Swiss Alps tunnel, killing 28 people, including 22 children.

In rural eastern Missouri, 11 students were hospitalized Tuesday after their school bus slid off a narrow two-lane road and overturned in a ditch, possibly after a student distracted the driver.

On Monday in Indianapolis, a bus slammed into a railroad bridge, killing the driver and a 5-year-old girl and critically injuring two other students. Officials were awaiting autopsy results on the driver.

The same day, a school bus in Washington state overturned on a highway, injuring dozens of students, including three seriously. Police said the bus veered off the road, overcorrected and rolled on a highway near Quincy, about 120 miles east of Seattle.

An 11-year-old triplet died after a dump truck and a bus collided Feb. 16 at an intersection in Chesterfield, N.J. Seventeen children were injured overall, though must only suffered bumps and bruises. The cause of that crash remains under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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