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At Least 21 Injured in Pennsylvania Bus, Tractor-Trailer Collision

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ROCKWOOD, Pa. (AP) — A tractor-trailer collided with a school bus carrying about two dozen students and adults Wednesday in western Pennsylvania, killing the truck driver and injuring at least 21 people, most of them students, authorities said.

The crash occurred on Route 281 near Rockwood just after 2:30 p.m., state police said. The truck and a school bus taking Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District students back from a vocational and technical school in Somerset struck each other.

The truck had crossed over into southbound lanes and hit the bus almost head-on, said Trooper Steve Limani. The truck driver was killed, but police were not releasing the driver's identity because his family had not been notified yet, Limani said.

Twenty-three people, including two adults and 21 high-school students, were on the bus, but Limani said he did not know any details about injuries.

Greg Chiappelli, a spokesman for Somerset Hospital, said school superintendent Darlene Pritt told him a total of two dozen people were on the bus — 22 students and two adults including the driver.

Two adults and three juveniles were flown to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, according to spokeswoman Amy Bradley. A hospital official later said one adult was in critical condition and the other adult and two of the children were listed as fair; the third juvenile was treated and released.

Another child flown to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh was later listed in good condition, an official said.

Chiappelli said eight people were brought to Somerset Hospital by ambulance and another seven to 10 people with minor injuries came in by bus. He did not know the severity of the injuries or say how many involved children, and officials later said they could provide no update.

Footage from television station WPXI helicopter suggests the vehicles collided on a rural highway. The main body of the bus appeared to be intact and was perpendicular to the truck on the two-lane road.

On Tuesday, a tourist bus carrying mostly students returning from a Swiss ski vacation home to Belgium slammed head-on into a concrete wall in a Swiss Alps tunnel, killing 28 people, including 22 children.

In rural eastern Missouri, 11 students were hospitalized Tuesday after their school bus slid off a narrow two-lane road and overturned in a ditch, possibly after a student distracted the driver.

On Monday in Indianapolis, a bus slammed into a railroad bridge, killing the driver and a 5-year-old girl and critically injuring two other students. Officials were awaiting autopsy results on the driver.

The same day, a school bus in Washington state overturned on a highway, injuring dozens of students, including three seriously. Police said the bus veered off the road, overcorrected and rolled on a highway near Quincy, about 120 miles east of Seattle.

An 11-year-old triplet died after a dump truck and a bus collided Feb. 16 at an intersection in Chesterfield, N.J. Seventeen children were injured overall, though must only suffered bumps and bruises. The cause of that crash remains under investigation.



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