6 dead in crash between school bus and MTA commuter bus in Baltimore
BALTIMORE - Authorities said six people were killed and 10 others injured after a school bus crashed into the side of a commuter bus in southwest Baltimore.
A school bus headed to Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School was traveling eastbound on Frederick Avenue at around 7 a.m. Tuesday and hit a wall and fence at the Loudon Park cemetery before rear-ending a Ford Mustang. The bus continued down the roadway and eventually struck a pillar near the cemetery before crossing into opposing traffic and colliding into a Maryland Transit Administration bus carrying 13 people, Baltimore police spokesperson T.J. Smith said.
"It literally looks like a bomb exploded in the bus, and it's catastrophic damage," Smith said describing the crash.
The 67-year-old male driver of the school bus and five people on the MTA bus were killed in the crash. Among the deceased on the commuter bus was the 33-year-old female driver.
A school aide was also on the school bus at the time of the accident. She suffered minor injuries and is expected to survive. No students were on the school bus during the crash, police said.
The eight survivors on the MTA bus were transported to area hospitals. Five people -- four women and one man ranging from their mid-20s to mid-40s -- were treated at University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Center. The hospital said Tuesday afternoon that one of the female patients was discharged from the Medical Center. Of their remaining four patients, one is in critical condition, another is in serious condition and the other two are listed in fair condition. Dr. Deborah Stein, trauma chief at the Shock Trauma Center, said at least one of the victims required surgery.
The driver of the Mustang, Shawn Braxton, a retired D.C. police officer, suffered minor injuries in the crash.
"My heart goes out to the families' lost loved ones," said an emotional Braxton.
He said he was on his way to work when his vehicle was hit from behind. Braxton said he has high praise for two women who came to his aid -- one of them is a nurse.
"She remained calm, which helped me remain calm, helped me get myself together and just helped me get out of the car -- make sure that I was still okay," he said.
Smith said some recording equipment from one of the buses have been recovered and are believed to contain video and other possible data. However, it is unknown what condition the equipment is in.
"We did not observe any type of skid marks on the road, which leads us to believe there was no type of deceleration," said Smith. "But we don't know all of those answers at this point in time."
A team of eight investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene Tuesday afternoon to investigate the crash.