Bus carrying Bucks student group hits bridge

Firefighters remove passengers from the Calvary Coach bus that had hit an overpass. Massachusetts State Police said the bus was too high for the road.
Firefighters remove passengers from the Calvary Coach bus that had hit an overpass. Massachusetts State Police said the bus was too high for the road. (STUART CAHILL / Boston Herald)
Posted: February 03, 2013

Massachusetts authorities reported Saturday night that a Philadelphia-area charter bus carrying 42 passengers struck a bridge overpass in Boston, injuring 34 people. The passengers were high school students and chaperones visiting Harvard University, state police said.

Boston Emergency Medical Services reported that one person suffered life-threatening injuried and that three were seriously injured.

The students were in Boston with the Destined for a Dream Foundation, NBC 10 reported late Saturday night.

According to its website, the organization, based in Bristol Township, Bucks County, works with underprivileged and disadvantaged young people to help them build "leadership, discipline, self-esteem, teamwork, healthy lifestyles, and professional development."

Officials with the organization had no immediate comment on the crash, the Associated Press said.

The foundation's Facebook page said the group was traveling to Harvard to "visit the campus, sit with the office of cultural advancement, followed by a tour of the campus . . . followed by Harvard Square (shopping, eating, site seeing . . . etc. . . .)"

The crash occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday when the bus struck an overpass in the Allston neighborhood.

Massachusetts State Police said the bus crashed into the Western Avenue Bridge on the eastbound side of Soldiers Field Road, by the Charles River.

Authorities said the Calvary Coach bus did not belong on that road, which was not authorized for oversized vehicles, and state police were investigating whether charges were warranted against the driver, who apparently failed to see a sign prohibiting the vehicle from taking that route.

Ray Talmedge, owner of the Philadelphia-based Calvary Coach Bus, said his driver was being interviewed by police. Talmedge said the driver, who also drives a school bus, didn't know about the road restrictions.

Of the 34 passengers injured, state police said, three had serious injuries. State police did not know late Saturday night whether the seriously injured were students or adults.

The Boston Fire Department said some passengers were trapped immediately after the accident. Photos on the department's website showed firefighters lifting victims strapped to boards through the roof of the bus, which bears a Calvary Coach logo.

Four people were taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital for treatment, and 19 were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess, according to a Brigham and Women's Hospital spokeswoman. Boston EMS said the victim with life-threatening injuries was rushed to Boston Medical Center. Another victim was said to have been transported to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Contact Miriam Hill



or 215-854-5520. Follow her on Twitter @miriamhill.

Associated Press and the Boston Globe contributed to this article.

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