Emergency crews respond to a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Mount Pleasant Township early Sunday morning, Jan. 5, 2020. Multiple people were killed early Sunday in a crash involving a passenger bus, two tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles in Pennsylvania, officials said. (Photo: AP)
A deadly crash involving a passenger bus and multiple other vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike left at least five dead and dozens injured early Sunday, shutting down a large portion of the highway.
Officials said at least 60 people, ranging in age from 7 to 52 years old, were hospitalized with unknown injuries after the crash that happened at 3:40 a.m. Westmoreland County, around 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh. Photos from the scene show a mangled pileup of multiple vehicles including an overturned bus, two tractor-trailers, passenger cars and a smashed FedEx truck that left packages sprawled along the highway.
The bus struck an embankment as it was on a downhill curve, causing a chain reaction collision of passenger vehicles and three tractor trailers, according to Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman Cpl. Holly Reber-Billings.
The images from the scene appear to show the bus is an Ohio Coach vehicle. The company runs an express bus service that runs between New York City, Ohio and Kentucky, according to its website. Messages were left with the company seeking comment.
FedEx did not provide any other details besides that they are cooperating with authorities.
There were 25 victims transported to Excela Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Excela Health spokeswoman Robin Jennings said. Nine of those patients are under the age of 18.
At least one of the 25 victims initially sent to Excela was transported to a nearby trauma center and the rest of the patients’ conditions were not known, Jennings said.
Several people were also transported to Forbes Hospital, state police said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the crash.
Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said it was “premature” to say if weather was a factor in the collision. The National Weather Service forecast for Westmoreland County early Sunday listed light unknown precipitation and an air temperature just below freezing.