A tour bus carrying a college’s women’s lacrosse team to a game went off the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Saturday and crashed into a tree, killing the driver and one passenger and sending others to hospitals, including some with serious injuries, authorities said.
Lacrosse players from Seton Hill University and three coaches were among the 23 people aboard when the bus crashed at about 9 a.m., turnpike spokeswomanRenee Colborn said. It’s not clear what caused the crash, but state police were investigating, said Megan Silverstram of the Cumberland County public safety department.
Three of the injured were flown by helicopter to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where one person died, hospital spokeswoman Danielle Ran said. She did not give the conditions of the other two. Officials said all other passengers were taken to hospitals as a precaution.
The bus came to a stop upright on the side of the road with part of its left side shorn off, photos from the scene showed, though it’s unclear whether that was from the impact or rescue operation.
The bus operator, Mlaker Charter & Tours, of Davidsville, Pa., sent investigators to the scene, company dispatcher Kelly Hay said. The company had no information yet from the investigators and could not comment, she said.
The company is up to date on its inspections, which include bus and driver safetychecks, said Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the state Public Utility Commission, which regulates bus companies.
The agency’s motor safety inspectors could think of no accidents or violations involving the company that would raise a red flag, she said, though complete safety records were not available Saturday.
State environmental officials were also sent to the scene because of a diesel fuel spill from the bus.
Seton Hill is a Catholic school of about 2,500 students near Pittsburgh. The team was to play Saturday afternoon at Millersville University, about 50 miles from the crash site in central Pennsylvania. Counseling service will be provided for students and others, the school said, and an administrator was headed to the scene of the crash to help students and their families there.
On Tuesday, another bus carrying college lacrosse players from a Vermont team was hit by a sports car that spun out of control on a wet highway in upstate New York, sending the bus toppling onto its side, police said. One person in the car died.
And last month, a bus carrying 42 high school students from the Philadelphia area and their chaperones slammed into an overpass in Boston, injuring 35. Authorities said the driver had directed the bus onto a road with a height limit.