5 killed as bus from New York City to Montreal crashes

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Five passengers have died and more than a dozen are injured after a bus bound for Montreal from New York City crashed through a guard rail in upper New York state on Monday evening.

The Greyhound bus was heading north on Interstate 87 when it rolled over at around 6:45 pm before reaching Westport, New York, about half way between Albany and Montreal. Several passengers were still trapped two hours after the crash, according to the Plattsburgh Press Republican.

"All we did was try to comfort people," said Plattsburgh Mayor Daniel Stewart. "I also did a lot of French to English translation for police. Many on the bus were tourists returning to Canada."

The dead include a 16-year old boy and 34-year old man, both from Montreal, and a 69-year old woman from an undisclosed Canadian location. The other two victims are both from New York State including the bus driver.

Thirty-seven passengers were taken to Champlain Valley Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York, following the crash. Twenty-two were treated and released.

Two passengers were have been transferred to Montreal General Hospital where they are in intensive care. Four others are in stable condition.

Reports suggest that the bus crashed through a guard rail after passing a truck, went down an embankment and rolled at least twice before landing upside down. The rear and top of the bus were crushed and one of its back wheels was turned inward. According to Don Jaquish, deputy director of the Essex County, New York Emergency Services, many of the passengers were thrown out of the bus and landed on a grassy area nearby.

Major Richard Smith, Jr., of the New York State Police said that investigators believe a tire failure may have been a contributing factor in the crash. Survivors say they heard a loud bang before the bus lost control.

Smith said that 48 of the 52 passengers on the bus sustained injuries. Greyhound Bus No. 4014 had been due to arrive in Montreal at 9:10 pm. Many of the passengers are believed to be from the Montreal area.

The highway remained closed late Monday between Exits 30 and 31 in both directions.

Family members can call Greyhound at 1-800-972-4583 for more information.