The Latest: Survivor recounts fatal Baltimore bus crash

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2016 6:08 PM
The Latest: Survivor recounts fatal Baltimore bus crash

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on a fatal crash involving a school bus and a commuter bus in Baltimore (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The man whose car was struck by a school bus that then collided with a commuter bus in a deadly Baltimore wreck says he saw nothing but headlights before he was hit from behind.

Shawn Braxton of Columbia, Maryland, says he was driving to work Tuesday morning when his silver Ford Mustang was hit. The collision crushed the rear of the car and forced its nose into the pavement

Braxton, who said he recently retired as a Washington, D.C., police officer, told The Associated Press that bystanders and fellow motorists helped him out of his mangled car and kept him calm.

He says he's physically sore and struggling with having survived the accident while six others died.

Braxton declined to comment on what he saw when the buses collided, saying he wanted to talk with crash investigators first.

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5 p.m.

Baltimore police say both drivers were among the six people killed when a school bus with no children aboard smashed into the side of a commuter bus.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith told a news conference Tuesday that the school bus driver was a 67-year old man. The commuter bus driver was a 33-year-old woman.

Smith says the four other people killed at the scene early Tuesday morning were aboard the Maryland Transit Administration bus. Ten people were injured, two of them critically.

Smith says investigators have recovered some recording equipment from one of the buses that he believes contains video and possibly data. He says it's not clear what condition it's in.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jennifer Morrison says her team has begun looking at the vehicles and crash scene. She expects their work to continue through the week.

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4:15 p.m.

A company that owns the school bus in Tuesday's fatal collision with a transit bus was involved in another collision four years ago that injured nearly a dozen students.

The Baltimore Sun reports (http://bsun.md/2ekceSy) that in 2012, an AA Affordable bus hit a minivan, injuring 11 students on the bus as well as the minivan's driver and passenger. Baltimore Fire Department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright told the newspaper at the time that none of the injuries was considered life-threatening, although some students with neck and back pain were taken to hospitals.

City schools spokeswoman Edie House Foster told the paper then that the bus was taking the National Academy Foundation's high school girls soccer team to an afternoon game.

No children were on board Tuesday when an AA Affordable bus carrying a driver and an aide crashed into a car and a transit bus. The school bus driver and five people on the transit bus were killed, and ten others were injured.

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2:15 p.m.

Federal records show the transportation company that was operating a school bus involved in a fatal wreck in Baltimore had no violations or other crashes reported over a recent two-year span.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records show four inspections for AA Affordable Transportation over two years beginning in September 2014. The records show the company had 17 school buses and 17 drivers.

A representative of the company declined to talk with reporters outside its Baltimore office Tuesday, but said he might be able to comment later.

Baltimore City Public Schools says the bus involved in the accident provided curb-to-curb transportation to 18 elementary school students. The statement says such service generally is provided to students with special needs, homeless students or students who need special services.

No children were on the bus when it rear-ended a car, then ricocheted off a roadside pillar into an oncoming commuter bus. The driver was among six people killed in the wreck.

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1:40 p.m.

Federal investigators have arrived in Baltimore to probe a crash involving a school bus and a commuter bus that killed six people and injured 10.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said investigators with the highway team have begun examining the vehicles involved and documenting the scene.

Police say a school bus rear-ended a car, struck a roadside pillar and then veered into the oncoming Maryland Transit Administration bus, destroying much of the driver's side.

Officials say the school bus driver and five people on the MTA bus were killed. No children were on the school bus at the time.

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1:10 p.m.

School officials say the school bus involved in a fatal crash was contracted from AA Affordable Transportation, a company based in Baltimore.

School officials said in a statement Tuesday that the bus provided service to 18 elementary school students, but beginning Wednesday the students will be transported by a bus owned by the city school system. No students or other passengers were on the school bus at the time.

Officials say these students receive curb-to-curb transportation from their homes to school. This service is provided to students with special needs, students who are homeless and students who receive specialized services such as English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Police say six people, including the school bus driver, were killed and 10 people, including the bus attendant, were injured when the school bus rear ended a car and hit a Maryland Transit Administration bus.

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12:15 p.m.

The trauma chief at a hospital where five people were taken after two buses collided in Baltimore says the patients' injuries are typical for motor vehicle accidents, including spinal column and facial injuries.

Dr. Deborah Stein told a news conference Tuesday that one of the five patients is in critical condition, three are stable and one who was initially stable has been downgraded to serious condition. One patient is an adult male, and four are women from their mid-20s to mid-40s.

Stein says at least one will need surgery and another will likely be discharged soon.

She says it was "all hands on deck" at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. The crash happened near a shift change, but not a single overnight worker left the building. She calls it "really quite extraordinary."

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Noon

One of the first people at the scene of Tuesday morning's fatal bus crash was a passing motorist named Matthew Feldman, who told WJZ-TV that he and another man pulled up and tried to help people before emergency responders arrived.

Feldman says the drivers of both the school bus and the Maryland Transit Administration bus appeared to be in very bad shape. (Police have confirmed that the school bus driver was killed, but have not identified any of the dead or injured on the commuter bus.)

Feldman said he and the other man tried to pull glass off of a woman pinned by the door of the MTA bus, and could hear people screaming. He said the driver's side of the MTA bus was a mess of twisted metal with people's arms and legs sticking out.

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11:30 a.m.

Federal investigators are headed to Baltimore to probe a crash involving a school bus and a commuter bus that killed six people and injured ten.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith says the school bus rear ended a car, struck the entrance to a cemetery and then veered into oncoming traffic, hitting the Maryland Transit Administration bus near the driver's seat and raking down the side.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said by telephone Tuesday that the highway team is looking into this crash because it involves two large vehicles, and because the NTSB has looked at school bus and transit safety in the past.

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9:45 a.m.

Police say at least six people are dead and 10 more are hurt after a school bus crashed into side of a commuter bus in southwest Baltimore.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith told a news conference the school bus rear ended a car Tuesday morning, then struck a pillar at a cemetery and veered into oncoming traffic, hitting the Maryland Transit Administration bus on the driver's side.

Smith says the school bus driver is dead. He says the only other person on that bus was an aide, who survived.

Baltimore Fire Chief Niles Ford says firefighters are still working their way through the interior of the commuter bus, looking for victims.

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9:15 a.m.

Police say a school bus and a commuter bus crashed in Baltimore, killing six people.

Baltimore Police tweeted that no children were aboard the school bus that crashed early Tuesday morning.

Baltimore public schools spokeswoman Anne Fullerton says no students are among the fatalities.

University of Maryland Medical Center spokeswoman Lisa Clough says the hospital received one patient in critical condition and four others in fair condition.

Video from above the scene while it was still dark shows the crumpled front of a yellow school bus smashed into the side of a Maryland Transit Administration bus. The driver's side of the MTA bus is ripped off with debris spilling onto the road.

There was no immediate word on what caused the crash.