The cause of the deadly crash involving a school bus and a dump truck is under investigation, officials said. The crash killed a student and a teacher, and it injured dozens of other adults and children.
The bus was carrying students from East Brook Middle School to a field trip at Waterloo Village, officials told reporters. The crash took place at around 10:20 a.m. on westbound Interstate 80 in Mount Olive township in northern New Jersey, the Washington Post reported.
“This is a shaken community,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
On Friday, May 18, New Jersey State Police stated that the cause of the crash is under investigation, adding that “no fault has been found,” reported the Post.
“It was a rough scene to see,” Jeff Paul, who is the head of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, told 6ABC. “When I arrived there were children lying all over the place.”
According to CBS News, the bus driver had made an illegal U-turn before the deadly crash. A sign where the driver turned read, “No Turns,” 6ABC reported.
Theo Ancevski, 11, was on the bus when the crash took place.
“A lot of people were screaming. And they were hanging from their seatbelts… A few people got out of the windows and they got out of the emergency exit on the top of the roof,” Ancevski told CBS.
Kevin Kennedy said in a statement that he was “in shock, devastated and totally crushed” by the death of his wife, who was a teacher at the school, later identified as Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, 6ABC reported. He added that “my beautiful bride and I have been in total love every day of our lives since the day our eyes met on May 5th, 1994.”
Gov. Murphy said the truck driver was hospitalized, according to 6ABC, but he didn’t reveal his condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board said that it won’t be involved in the investigation of the crash, NJ.com reported.
“Any loss of life is tragic,” said NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway, adding that the agency’s role is to investigate a cause if there are issues involved that officials have not seen before. They will then make safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.
“Preliminary information on the accident came to the board and based on that information, a decision was made not to send a team to investigate,” Holloway said.
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