A commercial bus carrying Cornell University students and alumni from Ithaca, New York, to New York City, veered off the highway in Pennsylvania over the weekend, killing one woman and injuring several others.
The bus crash killed 33-year-old Rebecca Blanco of Vacaville, California. Ms. Blanco graduated with an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management last year, the Mercury News reported.
According to Northeast Pennsylvania’s WNEP, the bus crash occurred shortly after 9 p.m. when the bus left the southbound lanes of I-380 near Moscow, Pennsylvania, in Covington County, a few miles south of Scranton near exit 20. The bus drove down an embankment on the right side of the interstate and crashed in a wooded area.
The Mercury News reported that that the bus is believed to be a Big Red Bullet bus. According to Big Red Bullet’s website, the bus offers rides between Ithaca and New York City six days a week. WNEP described the bus as a private charter.
A medical helicopter and multiple ambulances responded to the crash. Various sources indicate all of the bus’s 13 occupants were taken to area hospitals. One of the bus passengers remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate the bus crash and did not offer information about possible causes. By law, bus drivers are always screened for drugs and alcohol following a fatal crash, and investigators also look at a number of other potential causes such as driver health, fatigue, and distraction, mechanical problems, weather conditions, and other motor vehicles.
According to The Ithaca Voice, Joel M. Malina, vice president for Cornell University Relations, released a statement about Ms. Blanco’s death following the bus crash:
Cornell University has learned that one of our alumni, Rebecca Blanco, MBA ‘17, lost her life in the tragic Sunday night bus accident in Northern Pennsylvania. We extend our deepest sympathies to Rebecca’s family and friends.
Cornell University Police are in contact with area emergency responders, who report that other passengers on the private bus line also sustained injuries in the crash. We will be monitoring the situation closely as our thoughts and prayers remain with all of those involved.