DONEGAL, Pa. – A bus carrying Asian tourists rear-ended a flatbed tractor-trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Monday, killing the bus driver and injuring nearly two dozen passengers, officials said.
The driver was a 39-year-old man from New York, state police said. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review identified him as Bo Hua Tan, citing Deputy Coroner John A. Ackerman, who didn't return messages left by The Associated Press.
The bus was carrying 35 passengers. One of them was taken by helicopter to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown, while 16 others were taken by ambulances to Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant and seven more to Somerset Hospital.
By mid-afternoon, Frick and Somerset hospitals said their passengers had been released. Conemaugh Hospital would not release information about the status of the passenger airlifted there.
The accident happened at about 7:30 a.m. near the near the Donegal exit, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh. The turnpike was shut down for the crash investigation until 12:30 p.m.
The driver of the flatbed tractor-trailer sustained moderate injuries.
The tour bus was registered to Mr. Ho Charter Service of Bethlehem. A man who answered the phone for that company identified himself as Edward Ho and said the bus was carrying two drivers, who alternated during the trip from Kentucky to New York City. One driver was unhurt, Ho said.
Federal safety records show the company was over the acceptable threshold for drivers who are cited for fatigued driving, with a 68.9 percent score. Anything over 50 percent is over the threshold.
Since February, a series of major bus crashes have resulted in fatalities across the country. Fifteen people were killed in March when a bus rolled on its side and struck a pole in New York, shearing the top off much of the vehicle.
Last month, four people died when a bus crashed after the driver dozed off at the wheel in Virginia and a 6-year-old boy died in a crash in Kentucky.