Bus Hits Long Island Overpass, Injuring Dozens Of High School Students

Bus Hits Long Island Overpass, Injuring Dozens Of High School Students

Dozens of people, including many Long Island high school students, are seriously hurt after their bus slammed into an overpass on the Southern State Parkway.

A roadside sign posted by the state on the overpass in Lakeview, just east of New York City, says the clearance at its lowest point is 7 feet, 7 inches (2.3 meters).

New York State Police confirmed 37 suffered minor injuries, five serious and one very serious.

Troy D. Gaston, 43, no address given, "obviously wasn't aware of the parkway system" and its restrictions on commercial vehicles, state police Major David Candelaria said, according to Newsday.

The injuries ranged from broken bones to cuts and scrapes, according to Candelaria.




All eastbound lanes were closed, state police said.

The charter bus had been traveling from John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Walt Whitman Mall in Suffolk County. Passengers were seen covered in blankets as they waited outside.

The Southern State, like other NY parkways, has overpasses that are lower than the standard legal bridge clearance - a feature that has led to hundreds of bridge strikes over the years. He reported that immediately after the first calls came in, first responders "set up a mass-casualty treatment triage", and their quick response time likely saved lives. Tractor-trailers and buses aren't allowed on the road, which has low overpasses.

Police confirmed the driver of the bus owned by Journey Bus Lines from Irvington, New Jersey had a valid driver's license.

"I don't think he had any awareness because if you look at the damage, it's a high-impact strike", he said, adding that the incident remains under investigation. In 2017, there were reports that an electronic alarm system would be installed on the parkway to warn drivers of vehicles too high for the overpass.

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