A school bus collided head-on with a Baltimore commuter bus Tuesday morning, killing six people and injuring 10 others, some critically.
Baltimore law enforcement authorities say that a school bus carrying the driver and an aide was about to pick up its first student sometime after 6:30 a.m. when for unknown reasons it went out of control. The school bus rammed the back of a Ford Mustang and struck a cement pillar at the entrance to Loudon Park Cemetery before veering into the wrong lane and collided head-on with a Maryland Transit Administration bus.
The impact killed five of the 13 people aboard the MTA bus, which had half its side peeled off. The driver of the school bus, an employee of Baltimore City Public Schools contractor AA Affordable Transportation, was also killed. The bus was just beginning its daily route to collect 18 students and transport them to Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School in the southwestern part of Baltimore.
Police say it is possible the school bus driver suffered from some sort of medical emergency because there is no evidence that the bus braked before colliding with the Mustang and MTA bus. Investigators hope the aide who survived the crash may be able to provide some clues about what happened.
“It’s the worst I have ever seen,” Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith told Baltimore’s WJZ.
The school bus “basically ripped the entire driver’s side off” the MTA bus, Mr. Smith said. “It literally looks like a bomb exploded in the bus and it’s catastrophic damage.”
Five of the injured people are undergoing treatment at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. One of those patients is critical condition, another is in serious condition, and three are in stable.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had investigators at the scene on Tuesday morning to launch its probe of the crash.