WAWAYANDA, New York Two adults are dead after a charter bus transporting Long Island high school band members flipped on Thursday near the village of Wawayanda on Interstate 84 in Orange County, roughly two hours northwest of New York City.
The Farmingdale High School marching band and their chaperones were being transported on one of six buses. The band, made up of about 300 youngsters, was on its way to Greeley, Pennsylvania, for band camp, a cherished annual event for the group. Six buses were there, but one of them crashed through the wire fence, tumbled 50 feet, and wrecked.
It happened around 1:12 pm, which was only 40 minutes away from their goal.
“A bus that in a matter of minutes literally fell down a 50-foot ravine. It’s incredible,” remarked Governor Kathy Hochul. “Although it’s early, it appears that the collision was caused in part by a damaged front tire. However, this is still being looked into. That’s only an initial conclusion.
According to Hochul, five to six students and two adults suffered significant injuries. Many others were transported to nearby hospitals for assessment.
Hochul added, “There are many families tonight who need some love, and we extend that from 20 million New Yorkers. So let’s pray for them tonight and while they heal from this terrible, traumatic event.
NTSB investigators arrived at the scene of the Farmingdale High School bus accident, which claimed the lives of two adults and badly injured five children.
“Our students left Farmingdale High School on the way for a band trip… they’re friends, they’re companions, together,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “What started out as an incredibly beautiful day in New York State.” They had fun and planned to enjoy their music over the weekend, but sadly, so many people lost their lives that day.
“The vehicle operator, Regency Transportation of Nesconset, New York, has a valid semi-annual inspection and operating authority from the State Department of Transportation. The motorist has a valid license, according to a statement from the New York State Department of Transportation.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to conduct a safety investigation Friday morning.
40 students and four adults made up the bus’s 44 occupants, according to Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone of the New York State Police. He named the deceased individuals as Farmingdale resident Beatrice Ferarri, 77, and Massapequa resident Gina Pellettiere, 43, both of Farmingdale.
The marching band instructor at the school is known as Pellettiere.
Mazzone reported that six hospitals received the victims.
“I fell on my side. Anthony Eugenio, 15, who was on the bus when it crashed, stated, “I had to, like, jump out the window. The child next to me was bloodied as soon as I raised my head. Blood was evident everywhere.
Exit 15 on Interstate 84 westbound was closed, according to the New York State Police.
A program for family reunion was established at SUNY Orange College. The buses that were not involved in the collision were noticed by Shosh Bedrosian of CBS New York. They have since left, and they were being escorted by police as they returned to Farmingdale.
Bus was from Farmingdale High School, headed for band camp
Students from Farmingdale High School told CBS New York’s Jennifer McLogan the bus involved in the crash was carrying ninth graders.
The students were expected to be at the band camp from Thursday to Sunday.
Numerous emergency responders were visible on the scene. Windows on one side of the bus had been smashed out, and a ladder was raised along the side of the bus near the broken windows.
Equipment was being brought in to recover the bus from the ravine, CBS New York photojournalist Don Collins reported. Collins described emergency responders at the scene as being in “recovery mode.” He described at least 20 emergency vehicles at the scene.
“It’s terrible to learn about the kids participating; my daughter plays in a band. She is quite sad about it since band students share a bond that transcends schools, according to Middletown resident Laura Lafollette.