A single-vehicle crash along the Pennsylvania Turnpike earlier this month caused several injuries and two deaths. Nearly two dozen people were aboard a bus carrying the Seton Hill University lacrosse team at the time of the commercial vehicle collision. Investigators remain unsure of the cause.
The fatal collision happened on a Saturday morning as the women lacrosse players were making their way to a game at Millersville University. The bus was about 50 miles from the Lancaster-area destination when the vehicle suddenly swerved off the road.
The bus hit a tree, smashing and sheering off the front driver’s side of the vehicle. The 61-year-old bus driver was killed in the crash. The lacrosse team’s 30-year-old coach, six months pregnant, died with her unborn child after being airlifted to a hospital.
An unreported number of passengers were hurt. Crews transported all surviving victims to medical facilities.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reported the company that owned the bus was current with all safety inspections. Initial reports said the PUC did not believe Mlaker Charter & Tours had any past, glaring safety infractions.
The Catholic university where the Greensburg woman coached made immediate plans for a memorial mass at the school near Pittsburgh.
Police are having difficulty coming up with a reason for the fatal accident. The investigation will work through a process of elimination. The commercial vehicle will be inspected from stem to stern to detect any operating or mechanical fault, like bald tires or spongy brakes.
Medical teams will examine the driver’s health history and test his blood for impairment. Witnesses will be interviewed to help authorities understand before-crash events. Passing drivers might remember the bus driver’s behavior, the speed of the bus or obstacles that caused the driver to turn suddenly.
Victims and families are also waiting for answers that may help them decide whether to pursue legal action for personal injuries or wrongful death.
Source: foxnews.com, “Pregnant coach, driver killed when bus carrying university lacrosse team crashes in Pennsylvania,” March 16, 2013