Waterloo, N.Y. A tractor trailer crashed into a tour bus about 1:47 a.m. Friday on the NY State Thruway near Waterloo. The driver of the tractor trailer, Timothy Hume 59, has died.
The bus burst into flames. The Seneca County Fire Coordinator said multiple units were dispatched to the scene. Mercy Flight transported at least 1 patient to Strong Hospital; 15 ambulances and emergency crews assisted at the scene.
New York State Police say 20 people were taken to hospitals. One Trooper said, "I'm very surprised that there weren’t more fatalities on that bus and they weren’t more seriously hurt."
52 passengers on board, + driver
2 in critical condition
13 suffered moderate injuries
15 had "very minor" injuries
1 death: driver of tractor trailer, Timothy Hume, 59, from Dryden, Michigan
UPDATE: Three patients remain at Strong Hospital on Friday night. They are in satisfactory condition.
Five patients were brought to Syracuse's University Hospital, all had head lacerations, bumps or bruises. Others were treated at Newark-Wayne Hospital.
State Police say Army Sergeant Jacob Perkins from Fort Drum was near the scene of the accident and helped pull people out of the wreck while it was burning.
One firefighter said the fire was overwhelming to crews as they arrived.
The driver of the bus, Rene Bisson, 60, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. His license was suspended in New York for speeding tickets in 2003 and 2006.
State Police are reviewing information from the black box taken from the bus.
How Did It Happen?
One person involved said the bus had pulled off the thruway for what was probably a mechanical problem, for about a half hour. As it was pulling back into the thruway the tractor trailer hit it--however, this is not yet officially confirmed.
The tour bus, from Farr Coach Lines out of Dunville, Ontario, Canada was headed to New York City from Hamilton on a 3-day excursion.
Many of the passengers work for a London, Ontario company called London Life. In a statement Friday, the company said, "The well-being of our staff, their families and friends is our primary focus. We have sent a team to Rochester to help our staff and their fellow passengers with their immediate needs."