A tour bus transporting 28 people on vacation from Poland overturned Wednesday night after hitting a rain-slicked portion of Interstate 81 in Upstate New York.
All 28 passengers, the tour guide, and driver survived the incident when the bus went off the west side of the road at about 7:10 p.m., down an 80-foot embankment, and into a gully. The bus was turned onto its roof, according to police reports.
While there were no deaths, a woman, whose name was not released, was pinned under the bus for more than an hour, said Nicholas Sculley, chief of the Whitney Point Fire Department. The other 29 people exited the bus on their own.
The bus had left Niagara Falls and was headed to Trenton, New Jersey, according to State Police Sgt. Todd Burdick. He added that the driver may have been driving too fast for the weather conditions, causing the accident. When the incident occurred, there was a half-inch of standing water on the road.
Burdick told USA Today that he was unsure how many people were injured, or the extent of their injuries, but 19 people were taken to the hospital.
The bus, owned by Princeton Holdings Inc., was doing business as Amerpol Tours out of Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
The crash occurred not far from a tragic May 20, 2005, bus accident that killed three highway construction workers. The bus, which was carrying 23 members of a Missouri Bible college's choir, plowed into a construction crew.
It is also the third tour bus crash in Upstate New York in three weeks.
A little less than two weeks ago, one person was killed and 30 were injured in a crash involving a bus on the Thruway in Seneca County. State Police said a tractor-trailer hit the bus from behind as it was re-entering the road from the shoulder, causing an explosion. The tractor-trailer driver, Timothy Hume of Michigan, was killed.
Just a few days before, a tour bus crash in Steuben County killed two people and injured dozens more. That accident happened on Interstate 390 North in Avoca. Investigators said 37 people were aboard the bus headed from Washington, D.C. to Niagara Falls. Investigators believe a blown tire may have been to blame.
Tour bus industry safety has drawn heightened attention since the March 12 crash of a bus returning to New York City's Chinatown after an overnight trip to a Connecticut casino. Fifteen people were killed when the bus flipped onto its side and struck a pole, peeling off its roof.