Four Die in Double-Decker Bus Crash in Upstate New York

September 13, 2010

A double-decker bus that may have made a wrong turn off the highway slammed into a low railroad bridge in the pre-dawn darkness Saturday in a wreck that killed four passengers and critically injured others, authorities said.

The Megabus was carrying 29 people, including the driver, when it rammed the bridge around 2:30 a.m. local time on the Onondaga Lake Parkway in Salina, a suburb of Syracuse in central New York.

The bus lay on its side after the crash. Four passengers and the driver, identified as John Tomaszewski, 59, of New Jersey, remained hospitalized Saturday night, according to Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh.

One passenger was in very critical condition and the other four, including the driver, were in serious condition, but were expected to survive, Walsh said.

Twenty passengers, including seven Canadian residents, were treated and released, said Don Carmichael, a senior vice president at Coach USA, which operates Megabus.

The bus was too tall and wasn’t able to clear the low-hanging span, according to Walsh, who said he believed the driver made a wrong turn when getting off the interstate.

The dead included three men and a woman in her teens or early 20s, said Walsh. He said there was no indication the driver had been drinking or using drugs.

The bus left Philadelphia at 10 p.m. local time Friday and was headed for Toronto with stops in Syracuse and Buffalo, said Carmichael.

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