A bus accident in Philadelphia, Penn. that took the life of three passengers is under investigation by local authorities.
A bus transporting the Seton Hill women’s lacrosse team ran off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and collided with a tree. Of the passengers, the team’s coach, the unborn child she was carrying and the driver of the bus were all killed and 23 other passengers were hospitalized with injuries, three of those considered to have serious injuries, according to Renee Colborn, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The driver, Anthony Gueaetta, was a resident of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by the Cumberland Coroner’s office. Thirty-year old Kristina Quigley, coach of the women’s lacrosse team, and her unborn baby were taken to a nearby hospital before she was pronounced dead. At six months pregnant, Quigley also lost the baby, according to Danielle Ran, hospital spokeswoman for Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Passengers Nicole Rossi and Rachel Hilbert were taken to Harrisburg Hospital and Carlisle Regional Medical Center. Both girls were treated for their injuries and released quickly after.
According to local authorities, the bus collided with a tree before stopping on the side of the road with a portion of the vehicle’s left side shaved off. Although photos show the damage, it is unknown whether this damage was from the accident itself or from rescue attempts made by emergency first responders.
The bus was chartered from Mlaker Charter & Tours, a company based in Davidsville, Penn. to transport the team. Public Utility Commission spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher states that the company is in good standing in regards to safety inspections, which include both bus and driver checks. She mentioned that there were no clear indicators that the charter company was a hazardous or unsafe service provider.
The charter company dispatched their own investigators to assist the local authorities in determining the cause of the crash, as well as serving as representatives of the company. The company released the following statement regarding the crash:
“Mlaker Transportation is cooperating fully with police, officials from Seton Hill University and others to assist the student athletes, coaches and others on the motorcoach to make sure they receive medical attention, their personal items are collected and those that need transportation back to Seton Hill receive it immediately.
Mlaker Transportation wishes to express its sorrow and sympathy to those impacted by this accident. Mlaker Transportation places the safe transportation of all of our passengers at the highest level. With more than 40 years in operation, we strive to make a trip on one of our coaches a great experience.
Mlaker Transportation has a Satisfactory rating, the highest, from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. We are also a Department of Defense Level One rated carrier, authorized to transport military personal and we are TSX Approved.”
In addition to local authorities, investigators from the state environmental office were dispatched to the scene to handle a diesel spill following the crash.
Although charter buses and other public and private transportation options are simple ways to move a large number of people, the risk of accident and injury is very present. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus crash, you might benefit from seeking legal counsel. The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Killino Firm can walk you through the legal process and help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Contact The Killino Firm today for more information and for a free case evaluation.