Italian honeymooner among 3 dead in bus-truck highway crash

AP News
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Posted: Jun 04, 2015 4:10 PM
Italian honeymooner among 3 dead in bus-truck highway crash

An Italian pharmacist on his honeymoon was identified Thursday as one of three victims of a deadly eastern Pennsylvania highway crash involving a tour bus and a tractor-trailer, while the cause of the wreck remained a mystery.

State police were investigating why the truck crossed a wide, grassy median and went into the path of a charter bus taking Italian tourists to Niagara falls. The company that operated the truck refused to release details on the driver or his route or say how long he'd been on the road that day.

Police identified two victims Thursday: Marco Fornasetti and Rino Guerra, both passengers on the bus. The Italian news agency ANSA said Fornasetti, 29, was a newlywed from the northern city of Vicenza and his bride, a pharmacist like him, was among the injured. Police said Guerra, 69, was an Italian citizen.

The bus driver, Alfredo Telemaco, 54, of New York City, also died.

The crash occurred Wednesday morning on Interstate 380 in Coolbaugh Township in the Pocono Mountains region. The bus had departed from New York and was about a quarter of the way to its first destination when it collided with the tractor-trailer, which had crossed into oncoming traffic, police said.

More than a dozen people were injured and taken to hospitals. Two people remained in critical condition Thursday.

The crash left the mangled front end of the bus wedged into the side of the trailer. The cab of the truck came to rest on its side in the woods next to the road. The wreck closed the interstate in both directions for hours.

State police said a second tractor-trailer was involved, but they were still investigating what led to the accident.

"It's going to take a little bit of time to determine why the crash occurred," Trooper David Peters said.

Monroe County coroner Robert Allen said the tractor-trailer driver didn't appear to have been severely injured.

State police identified the driver as Franklin Dale Wyatt, 55, of Macomb, Oklahoma. Police said he was driving for Greatwide Dedicated Transport. Greatwide merged with Cardinal Logistics Management Corp., of Concord, North Carolina, two years ago.

Cardinal said "there are no words that can do justice to the sorrow we feel" after the "terrible accident."

"We are praying for the families and friends of the passengers who lost their lives or were injured, and our hearts go out to everyone involved," Cardinal said in a statement, adding it was cooperating fully with crash investigators.

A Cardinal spokeswoman said she had no other details and did not respond to questions about the driver.

An Associated Press review of Wyatt's driving record turned up only two minor infractions: a 2012 speeding offense in Oklahoma and a 1997 incident in Oregon involving his tires.

Italian tour operator Viaggidea said 16 people were on the bus: 14 passengers, a tour guide and the driver. Viaggidea said it was "dismayed, shocked and deeply upset" by the crash and set up a crisis center in Milan.

The bus owner, Academy Bus, said the driver had more than a decade of experience with the company.

After sightseeing in New York, the group was headed to Niagara Falls, then Toronto, Washington and Philadelphia, before returning to New York, according to an itinerary for the eight-day trip.

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Associated Press writers Colleen Barry in Milan and Ron Todt and Josh Cornfield in Philadelphia and news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.