Police in Maryland are investigating a commercial bus crash on Interstate 95 that injured 25 people, mostly middle school students from Philadelphia, Monday, May 15.
The Baltimore Sun reports that a charter bus owned and operated by Werner Bus Lines, doing business as Werner Coach, was carrying 26 students and two teachers from Charles W. Henry School in Philadelphia, plus one parent and the bus driver to Washington D.C. for an educational tour of the city.
The bus was traveling in the middle lane when a Honda Civic entered the fast lane to pass the bus and for unknown reasons lost control of the vehicle, veering off the left shoulder then returning to the highway and crossing all three lanes of traffic, clipping the bus in the process.
The driver of the bus, whom authorities say is likely not at fault, then lost control and the bus veered off the highway, striking an embankment and tree before rolling over onto its side in the highway. The crash happened in Harford County, Maryland, in the northeastern corner of the state, not far from the Pennsylvania border.
Of the 26 bus passengers injured, two remain in critical condition. One of those critically injured was a student and the other an adult, The Baltimore Sun reported. The rest of the students and other passengers were taken hospitals in Maryland and Delaware for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, including broken bones, contusions, lacerations, and sprains.
The driver of the Honda also suffered minor injuries but refused treatment at the scene. The Maryland State Police told The Baltimore Sun that once the probe is complete, the crash investigators will present their findings to the Harford County state’s attorney’s office, which will determine whether charges will be filed.
Coincidentally, a charter bus full of Philadelphia police recruits was traveling behind the bus at the time of the crash. The recruits, who were also headed to Washington D.C. for Police Week, assisted in removing injured students from the bus and tending to them until paramedics arrived.
The crash shut down for hours a stretch of I-95 through which 85,000 vehicles travel daily as emergency crews worked to record and clear the scene.