Many dead af­ter school bus col­li­sion

Field trip turns deadly af­ter bus col­lides with truck

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World -

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. — A school bus tak­ing chil­dren on a field trip to a New Jer­sey historic site col­lided with a dump truck Thurs­day, rip­ping the bus apart, knock­ing it on its side and killing mul­ti­ple peo­ple, of­fi­cials said.

The front end of the school bus ap­peared to be ripped off as it sat on the me­dian of In­ter­state 80 in Mount Olive. It was also sheared off its un­der­car­riage and a piece of the front end of the bus with the steer­ing wheel vis­i­ble was ly­ing on top of the guardrail sep­a­rat­ing the high­way from the me­dian.

The Mor­ris County pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said that there were mul­ti­ple fa­tal­i­ties in the crash, but it de­clined to say how many or reveal the vic­tims’ iden­ti­ties be­fore their fam­i­lies are no­ti­fied.

A red dump truck with a man­gled front end was parked along the high­way nearby, about 50 miles (80 kilo­me­tres) west of New York. The truck was regis­tered to Men­dez Truck­ing, of Belleville, and had “In God We Trust” em­bla­zoned on the back of it.

“It’s a hor­rific scene,” Mount Olive Mayor Rob Green­baum told The Record.

Po­lice did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on the cause of the crash. State po­lice said that an un­known num­ber of chil­dren were on the bus, but they didn’t know how se­ri­ous the in­juries are. Hack­ettstown Po­lice Sgt. Dar­ren Ty­nan told The Record that mul­ti­ple peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal.

At least two ca­nine units were search­ing the woods along the road­side Thurs­day af­ter­noon, but it wasn’t clear why.

“Our hearts are bro­ken by to­day’s tragedy,” Demo­cratic New Jer­sey Gov. Phil Mur­phy said in a tweet.

Para­mus Pub­lic Schools said that the bus was tak­ing stu­dents from East Brook Mid­dle School to Water­loo Vil­lage, which is about five miles from the crash scene. Stu­dents on two other buses on the field trip re­turned to the school about 50 miles (80 kilo­me­tres) from the crash site and were re­united with their par­ents, said Para­mus po­lice Com­mis­sioner Holly Tedesco.

Men­dez Truck­ing has about 40 driv­ers and trucks, ac­cord­ing to the Fed­eral Mo­tor Car­rier Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The com­pany was fined $22,850 in 2016 for vi­o­lat­ing reg­u­la­tions on in­spec­tions, re­pairs and main­te­nance and post-crash drug and al­co­hol test­ing, ac­cord­ing to the FMCSA.

Men­dez trucks have racked up more than 130 vi­o­la­tions in the last two years, ac­cord­ing to FMCSA, in­clud­ing 27 for ex­ces­sive weight, 17 for leak­ing, spilling or fall­ing cargo and four speed­ing vi­o­la­tions — three of them this year.

BOB KARP THE DAILY RECORD VIA AP

Emer­gency per­son­nel ex­am­ine a school bus af­ter it col­lided with a dump truck on In­ter­state 80 in Mount Olive, N.J. on Thurs­day.

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