An investigation is underway after dozens of people, mostly high school students, were injured when a bus slammed into an overpass on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island.
New York State Police Major David Candelaria said based on the preliminary investigation, there was no sign of the bus braking or stopping prior to the crash. He said Gaston was showed “tremendous remorse” and “very upset” by the crash.
“I don’t know if it was him or a chaperone, but someone said ‘duck,’” Candelaria said. “He didn’t know it was going to happen.”
The crash happened around 9 p.m. Sunday as the bus, filled with 38 students from Huntington High School between the ages of 16 and 18 and their five chaperones, were returning from a spring break trip to Europe.
The bus was traveling from JFK Airport to the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington for the students’ parents to pick them up when the driver, heading east on the Southern State, struck the Eagle Avenue overpass in Lakeview.
The force from the impact left behind a trail of glass and debris, sheering off the top of the bus. It’s roof then collapsed into the cabin before coming to a stop. Police said the overpass is among the lowest on the entire parkway.
“The roof is literally resting on top of the seats,” Lakeview resident Jonathan Smithe said. “They couldn’t have seen it coming.”
Doctors at South Nassau Communities Hospital treated five of the nearly 40 who were hurt.