A crash between a tractor-trailer and a bus on an eastern-central Pennsylvania interstate sent more than two dozen people to the hospital Sunday, Aug. 20.
Authorities said the collision on Interstate 78 in Williams Township, about 65 miles north of Philadelphia, sent 26 people to the hospital with injuries. Three of those brought to St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, remain hospitalized in serious condition.
The bus was reportedly traveling in the right lane of I-78 eastbound and the tractor-trailer was in the left lane. For reasons not yet clear, the tractor-trailer struck the back of the bus around 3:30 a.m., causing the bus to lose control and flip onto its side in the median. The tractor-trailer also came to a stop on the median.
The crash closed both lanes of I-78 eastbound. Traffic was routed through the shoulder of the highway until the lanes reopened around 5 a.m.
Spokesmen for St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network told The (Allentown) Morning Call that they each treated several patients. Of the eight people brought to St. Luke’s, five were treated and released and three were admitted. Lehigh Valley treated 10 patients, all of whom had minor injuries and were discharged.
The crash remains under investigation. Pennsylvania State Police did not say what may have caused the truck to collide with the bus. Investigators look at a number of possible scenarios when trying to determine the cause of crashes involving tractor-trailers and other commercial motor vehicles, including drugs or alcohol, fatigue/falling asleep at the wheel, driver distraction (such as use of a smartphone or other electronic device), speed and weather conditions, mechanical failure, shifting cargo, and driver health problems.