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Calvary Charter Bus Crash Under Investigation

Bus crash could have been due to driver being distracted by GPS

Authorities are continuing to investigate a tragic February 2 charter bus crash that injured more than 30 Pennsylvania high school students and chaperones.

The accident happened when a Calvary Coach bus slammed into a bridge overpass in Boston. The 35 occupants were returning home to the Philadelphia area after a visit to Harvard University.

Investigators – including a collision reconstruction team – are conducting a thorough examination of the vehicle that could take up to six weeks to complete.

The top of the bus struck the bottom of a low bridge. The collision sheared off a portion of the roof, causing injury to passengers. At least four were hospitalized for serious personal injuries.

Following is from the Boston Globe:

State Police said Sunday that the crash injured 35 passengers, many of whom were sent to local hospitals where they were treated and released. Four passengers were in serious condition, authorities said Saturday night, one with life-threatening injuries….

Raymond Talmadge, owner of Philadelphia-based Calvary Coach, told a television station that [the driver] may have been checking his GPS at the time of the crash.

“He said he looked at the GPS, looked down to make the turn, and when he looked back up, the bridge was a low bridge; he hit the low bridge,” Talmadge told ABC-6 TV in Philadelphia.

A number of passengers were taken to Boston-area hospitals for treatment; at least four of them received treatment for injuries described as serious. One student underwent spinal surgery and was listed in critical condition.

Unofficial reports indicate that the driver may have missed a sign that prohibits buses from traveling on the roadway due to the height of the bridge.

Signs warning off buses and trucks were visible the morning after the accident, and a yellow sign stating the 10-foot clearance height of the bridge could been seen on the underpass entrance traveling east, the direction in which the bus was headed.

The trip was organized by Destined for a Dream Foundation, a Pennsylvania nonprofit group that provides educational programs for underprivileged students.

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