MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (PIX11) – A veteran law enforcement source with knowledge of the I-84 bus crash involving Farmingdale High School said an interior camera captured the moment of the crash after a tire apparently blew with 40 students and four adults on board.
The crash killed high school band leader and music teacher Gina Pellittiere as well as retired teacher Beatrice Ferrari, who was serving as a chaperone. Five students were critically injured and many others were rushed to area hospitals as well.
“There’s video from the interior of the bus,” the source told PIX11 News. “It was a very quick event. There was no chance to ‘right’ the vehicle. It immediately lost control.”
Bus 1 in a convoy of six vehicles chartered by Farmingdale High School from Regency Luxury Buses was heading to a band camp in Pennsylvania when it rolled five times off the highway into a ravine, according to another law enforcement source who spoke to PIX11 News.
There are questions now about whether students were required to wear seat belts on the bus. The source told PIX11 there were “numerous ejections” from the vehicle.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the site Friday.
“It’s still too early at this point to know what the seat belt usage was for both the driver and the occupants in the vehicle. But that’s something that I’ll specifically be looking at,” said John Humm, the investigator in charge with the National Transportation Safety Board. “Typically, I believe seatbelts are on this type of bus, but I haven’t been inside it myself, so I can’t tell you for sure.”
The damaged bus was taken to the New York State Police Troop F Headquarters in Middletown.