Bus Packed With High School Kids Returning From Spring Break Trip Hits Overpass Near Exit 18

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than three-dozen people were injured on Sunday night when a charter bus hit an overpass on the Southern State Parkway.

New York State Police Maj. David Candelaria said the crash occurred at around 9:30 p.m. at the Eagle Avenue overpass near Exit 18.

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There were 38 students, ages 16 to 18, five chaperones and a driver on the bus. They were returning from a spring break trip to Europe and had recently departed JFK Airport and were bound for Walt Whitman High School in Suffolk County at the time of the crash.

Candelaria characterized one of the injuries as very serious and said five others were serious. He said 37 others suffered injuries consistent with cuts and bruises. The victims were taken to five different area hospitals.

“We’re very lucky. This could have been tragic,” Candelaria said.

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The bus was traveling eastbound on the Southern State, which does not allow commercial traffic, when it hit the overpass. Candelaria said the driver of the bus, which is operated by Journey Bus Lines of Irvington, New Jersey, is not from the area and likely did not have an understanding of the Long Island parkway system.

Video taken at the scene shows the top of the bus sheared off. Young adult passengers are seen sitting and standing outside of the bus, some draped in blankets, as firefighters inspect the wreckage.

Nassau County police and 15 various ambulance companies responded, Candelaria said.

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Please stay with CBSNewYork.com for more on this developing story.