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Owner of bus in fatal crash had been cited for federal violations

The company that owns the bus had a list of inspections of its buses before the fatal accident, and had been cited for a list of violations.
Owner of bus in fatal crash had been cited for federal violations
Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 27, 2023

The operator of a bus that was involved in a fatal crash in New York with students and teachers on board has been found to have violated a list of federal regulations after inspections of its buses before the deadly crash. 

The company, Regency Transportation LTD, had at least 42 inspections of the buses that it operates during the last two years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The company was also cited for at least 25 violations since 2021, and failed at least five inspections in 2023. 

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A charter bus operated by the company and carrying high school students to a band camp veered off a New York highway and tumbled down an embankment in late September, killing two adults and seriously injuring several other people, officials said.

The bus was one of six in a caravan taking a marching band, color guard and dancers from Farmingdale High School on Long Island on their beloved annual trip to a camp in Greeley, in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The bus was only about 30 minutes from its destination when the wreck happened a little after 1 p.m. on Interstate 84 in the town of Wawayanda, about 45 miles northwest of New York City, the Associated Press reported. 

A tire failure was blamed for the bus going off the road, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The two adults that died were band director Gina Pellettiere, 43, of Massapequa, and retired teacher Beatrice Ferrari, 77, of Farmingdale.

Five of the 44 passengers on board were hospitalized in critical condition, according to state police.

Farmingdale student Anthony Eugenio, 15, was asleep on the bus when he felt a thud and awoke to what he thought was a dream or nightmare. 

The bus felt as if it was tipping, according to accounts. Then a passenger said he felt the bus tumbling — but couldn't recall how many times as he tried to pull their sweatshirt hood from over their eyes.

"Then everyone was yelling," the passenger said. "The kid next to me was covered in blood. I saw blood everywhere."

The passenger said he crawled out of the overturned bus through a window, dazed but only scraped and bruised. 

Once outside, he said he found his backpack, which had been thrown from the wreck, and his missing shoe.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation of the crash. 

The Associated Press contributed reporting. 

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