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November Bus Accident Leaves 26 Injured Near Syracuse, NY

It’s amazing no one was killed in an upstate New York bus accident near Syracuse last month.  A Trailways motor coach bound for New York City hit a car abandoned in the middle of I-81 . The crash occurred in the early morning hours of November 6. Although 26 people were transported to local hospitals for treatment, only the bus driver sustained life-threatening injuries.

The bus company,  Pine Hills Trailways, operates a daily service from Toronto to New York City.  The bus stopped in Buffalo to change drivers, according to news reports.

The crash happened when a drunk driver hit a guard rail and abandoned the vehicle in the left lane near the Onondaga – Nedrow exit.  A tractor-trailer driver saw the car crash and pulled over to assist, but was unable to do anything before the bus crashed into the car. The driver of the car was later charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). The force of the bus hitting the car sent the bus into the truck and the car into the median.

Local emergency and volunteer firefighter crews had to call in the Syracuse Police Department to remove the trapped driver from the bus, an operation that took two hours. The work of emergency personnel was made more challenging because many of the 51 passengers were not English-speakers. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that there were 250 people killed and 20,000 injured in 2009 motor coach crashes.