On Thursday afternoon in New York state, a bus transporting students en route to band camp overturned, resulting in the tragic loss of two adult lives and leaving over 40 individuals injured.
According to authorities, five students were in critical condition after the bus, which was carrying 40 students and four adults from the Farmingdale School District in Long Island, veered off the road and descended a 50-foot ravine. This information was shared during a news conference held on Thursday evening by state officials.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York expressed that families are in a state of mourning following the incident.
She emphasized that not only families, but also a school, a school district, a county, and indeed the entire state, are currently experiencing grief.
The tragic event occurred around 1:15 p.m. on Interstate 84 in Wawayanda, approximately 75 miles northwest of New York City.
Gina Pellettiere, aged 43 and hailing from Massapequa, along with Beatrice Ferarri, aged 77 and from Farmingdale, lost their lives in the accident.
Governor Hochul suggested that the crash might have been caused by a defective front tire, although she emphasized that these conclusions are still in the early stages.
The National Transportation Safety Board, in collaboration with the New York State Police, will be conducting an inquiry into this tragic incident.
The group of Farmingdale students and supervisors were en route to a band camp in Pennsylvania, as confirmed by a district representative.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman found it difficult to comprehend how a happy occasion could take a tragic turn in such a short span of time.
He shared his heartfelt advice during the press conference, urging everyone to hold their children close tonight. He emphasized the preciousness of life and reflected on how the children began their day with the expectation of enjoying a delightful weekend with their friends.
The wounded students were transported to the Diana Physical Education Building at Orange County Community College in Middletown, New York, for the purpose of reuniting with their families. Meanwhile, students on separate buses were brought back to Farmingdale High School, as stated by the spokesperson. The district ensured that they had access to grief counselors for support.
Edward Hoschler, a parent of a junior from Farmingdale High School who was on a different bus bound for the band camp, became deeply moved as he recounted the relief of finding out his daughter was safe. Hoschler, who was also a supervisor on the trip, was able to reunite with his daughter at the designated gathering place on Thursday.
This is a developing story that will be updated when more information is available.