LAKEVIEW, N.Y. — A crash involving a bus full of high school students that slammed into an overpass was an "avoidable accident," Sen. Chuck Schumer said Monday.
The bus was transporting 38 high school students and five adult chaperones from John F. Kennedy International Airport, where they were returning from a spring break trip to Eastern Europe, when it crashed into an overpass between exists 18 and 19 on the Southern State Parkway outside Lakeview Sunday night.
Everyone on board was taken to a hospital, including two people who were seriously injured and five others who had moderate injuries, police said. All are expected to survive.
Now investigators are working to determine who is at fault.
“It was a horrible, horrible crash,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "Thank God no one was killed, but this was an avoidable accident."
"This is not a new problem," Schumer said of high-profile vehicles crashing into overpasses.
In 2012, Schumer said he held a press conference on the bridge where Sunday's incident happened calling for tougher safety standards.
A year later, he said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced two changes — that it would send notifications to all truckers and companies that new GPS technology was available that would tell drivers how low highways and bridges are, and it would train all new bus drivers on the new system.
"Why why why in God's name would the systems that were available to avoid this accident not in place on this bus? Is the company to blame? Was the bus driver to blame? We need answers, and we need them now so we can prevent this from ever happening again,” Schumer said during a news conference Monday.
The driver, Troy Gaston, who from Pennsylvania, was evaluated after the crash and did not seem to be aware of commercial vehicle restrictions on the highway, according to police. The bus is owned by Journey Bus Line.