EVANS CITY, Pa. - Authorities said a 91-year-old woman has died from injuries she sustained in the bus-train collision Friday morning in Butler County, Pa.
Police said the driver of the bus stopped right in the middle of the train tracks moments before the crash. Butler County is located about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.
According to 911 dispatchers, a freight train and a Butler Area Transit Bus collided at the Maple Street Crossing in Evans City about 8 a.m. Friday.
Investigators said the train blew horns before the crash, but the bus didn’t move. Authorities said they’re not sure why the bus driver stopped on the tracks.
The driver of the bus, whose name has not been released, was injured but alert and talking when emergency crews arrived.
WPXI-TV reported that the bus was carrying people with developmental disabilities as part of a reduced-fee transportation program run by the Alliance For Nonprofit Resources in Butler.
A woman who identified herself as the granddaughter of a woman on the bus said her grandmother was headed to a program known as Lifesteps. The woman said the bus takes adult patients of all ages to the facility for a variety of programs.
Authorities said the 10 passengers on the bus ranged in age from 26 to 92.
Three men and a woman were being treated in the Allegheny General Hospital emergency room in Pittsburgh, said hospital spokesman Dan Laurent. The men were 35, 38 and 75 years old, and the woman was 91.
"Allegheny General is a level-one trauma center. That's the highest designation for a trauma facility. All these physicians, nurses and technologists that work as part of this team are ready for these kinds of injuries to come in and we were notified immediately,” Laurent said. “We were alerted there was this accident and we were mobilized to receive these patients immediately.”
Hospital officials said the 91-year-old woman, who has been identified as Claudette Miller, was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. with the official cause of death being blunt force trauma. Hospital officials said she was thrown on impact within the bus.
As of 12:30 p.m., at least three passengers had been treated at area hospitals and released, officials said.
None of the other victims’ names have been released.
WPXI has confirmed that the Federal Railroad Administration has begun investigating the incident.
Police said they're investigating whether dense fog contributed to the crash at the unmarked crossing. It was not immediately clear if the bus drove into the train, or vice versa.