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3-Vehicle Crash on New York Interstate 81 Leaves 27 Injures

Nov 7, 2014

A three-vehicle crash involving a New York City-bound bus, a car and a tractor-trailer left 27 people injured on Thursday, Associated Press reports. The accident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 81 southbound outside of Syracuse.

Associated Press reports that a car crashed into a guard rail, and the Pine Hills Trailways bus carrying 52 passengers crashed into it soon afterwards. The bus ended up in the highway’s left lane and crashed into the rear of a tractor trailer whose driver was pulled over to help the car, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office said. The southbound lanes on I-81 were closed just before 5:30 a.m.

"All I heard was a boom and my head hit the seat; I mean mad noise, it was crazy," said passenger Robert Johnson to AP. "I never experienced that in my life and I'm still scared to death by it." Johnson boarded the bus at Rochester; he says he was awake at the time of crash, but many others were asleep.

Trailways of New York owns the bus, which departed from Toronto on Wednesday evening and was scheduled to arrive in New York City at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Passengers who were not harmed were taken to Syracuse’s bus station. Some continued towards New York on a different bus, while others arranged to go home.

A statement was issued on behalf of Pinehill by the American Bus Association, a trade group based in Washington, D.C. The bus had stopped in Buffalo and Rochester to pick up passengers, an ABA spokesman said.

The accident injured 26 of the passengers and left the driver in critical condition at a Syracuse hospital. Emergency rescue teams spent more than two hours removing the driver from the vehicle’s smashed-in front end. Police said passenger injuries were non-life threatening, and mostly included lower extremity, chest, back and facial injuries. Ten ambulances and other emergency vehicles transported them to hospitals.

The driver of the car is a 36-year old man of Nedrow. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated and is being held in the Onondaga County Jail on $15,000 bail.

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