The driver of the Greyhound long distance bus that crashed in north western Pennsylvania on Thursday, injuring 12 people, has been held responsible for the accident, according to state police officials.
The accident occurred at approximately 7am on Thursday morning, two hours after the bus had left Cleveland en route to New York. The bus was carrying a Catholic church group to an event in New York City. According to a spokesperson for Greyhound bus company, there were 26 people on board the bus at the time of the incident, and the bus had made one stop to pick up passengers before the accident occurred.
According to reports from eye witnesses and passengers, the bus was travelling at around 65 miles per hour when it drove into the back of a flatbed truck, driving at around 50 miles per hour in the east bound lane of the I-90, in the McKean Township region. The bus veered off the interstate after the collision before coming to rest in a ditch on the side of the highway. The flatbed truck continued driving for a short time before pulling onto the verge of the interstate. The driver was the only occupant in the flatbed truck, and was not injured in the incident.
12 people in the bus, including the bus driver, sustained injuries in the collision. Local news sources report that the driver, who has been identified as 48 year old Mark Harris, has been cited for the incident and is expected to be charged with reckless driving. Harris is a resident of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Although Greyhound has been contacted about the incident, they have not released information on Harris’s employment status or safety record with the company.
The front of the bus was seriously mangled in the accident, causing the driver to be trapped in the wreckage. It took fire fighters and rescue personnel who responded to the scene more than 90 minutes to free the driver. The other passengers were able to be easily removed from the wreckage and were transported to local hospitals, were they were treated for minor injuries. All but one of the passengers have since been released from the hospital and are said to be doing well. The extent of the injuries of the passenger who remains in hospital is not known.
Greyhound has released a statement saying that they will cooperate fully with the police investigation into the incident.