A somber mood enveloped New York's Orange County after a charter bus, ferrying students from Farmingdale High School to a band camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania, overturned on Interstate 84. The tragic incident, which occurred near the town of Wawayanda, approximately two hours northwest of New York City, has left communities in shock and mourning.
According to sources close to CBS New York, the crash resulted in at least one fatality. The bus, which was one of six transporting around 300 students in total, met its unfortunate fate shortly before 1:30 p.m. The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Initial reports from the scene indicate that the bus was carrying 45 passengers at the time of the accident. Of these, five individuals sustained critical injuries. Some of the injured were rushed to Garnet Health Medical in Middletown, N.Y., while others were transported to Westchester Medical Center and Bon Secours Community Hospital. Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus confirmed these details in a conversation with CBS New York's Tony Aiello.
1 person killed and dozens injured after bus carrying students crashes on I-84 in Orange County, New York
At least one person has died and dozens more were injured when a bus carrying students rolled over on Interstate 84 in Orange… — Isabel Santos (@Busyisaworkshop) September 21, 2023
CNN's coverage of the incident further revealed that three students suffered severe injuries, with Daniel Minerva, vice president of operations and COO of Empress EMS, stating that the individual who tragically lost their life was ejected from the vehicle.
Aerial footage from the scene painted a grim picture, showing the overturned bus resting in the median of Interstate 84. The aftermath of the crash saw windows on one side of the bus shattered, with emergency ladders propped up against the vehicle. Numerous emergency responders were on-site, working diligently to aid the victims and secure the area.
The New York State Police have since announced the closure of Interstate 84 westbound at Exit 15, anticipating that the road will remain shut for several hours. Equipment is currently being mobilized to retrieve the bus from its precarious position.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her condolences, stating, "Our hearts are with all who are impacted by this horrific situation." She also extended her gratitude to the first responders for their swift and dedicated response.
The tragic event has left the Farmingdale community in shock. Jake Mendlinger, a spokesperson for Farmingdale High School, conveyed the school's distress, stating, "We were informed that there had been an accident with Bus 1 en route to Greeley, PA for band camp. Police and emergency responders are on the scene, as well as district administration. We will provide another update when more information becomes available."
As investigations continue, the community awaits further details on the cause of the crash and the condition of the injured students.