Pennsylvania State Police are still trying to determine what prompted a tractor-trailer to cross a highway median and collide with a tour bus Wednesday on Interstate 380 in the Pocono Mountains region.
According to The Associated Press, the driver of the truck, Franklin D. Wyatt, 55, of Macomb, Okla., crossed a wide, grassy median from the southbound to the northbound lanes of I-380 near mile marker 4 and struck another tractor-trailer before colliding with a charter bus taking a group of Italian tourists to Niagara Falls. The crash killed the bus driver and two other passengers and injured 13 others. Two people remained in critical condition Thursday, according to reports.
Reports state that the crash left the front end of the bus wedged into the side of the trailer. The cab of the truck came to rest on its side in the woods next to the road. The wreck closed the interstate in both directions for hours on Wednesday.
Police said Wyatt was driving for Greatwide Dedicated Transport. Greatwide merged with Cardinal Logistics Management Corp. of Concord, N.C., two years ago, according to The AP.
“This was a terrible accident, and there are no words that can do justice to the sorrow we feel. We are praying for the families and friends of the passengers who lost their lives or were injured, and our hearts go out to everyone involved,” the company said in a statement released Thursday. “We are committed to learning the facts and are cooperating fully with the authorities.”
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System, Cardinal Logistics had a “satisfactory” safety rating. A closer look at their BASIC score shows that the company had one area – hours-of-service compliance – in which the safety score was 68 percent, just above the 60 percent intervention threshold. The company had been cited for 200 hours-of-service violations, but more than half of them were either form and manner or driver’s record of duty status not current, according to SMS.
Italian tour operator Viaggidea said 16 people were on the bus: 14 passengers, a tour guide and the driver. Police said the bus driver, Alfredo Telemaco, of New York City, died at the scene along with two passengers, identified Thursday as Marco Fornasetti, 29, and Rino Guerra, 69, both Italian citizens, according to a report in The Allentown Morning Call.
The bus owner, Academy Bus, said Telemaco had more than a decade of experience with the company.
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