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Dozens injured in Bedford Co. bus crash

Three admitted to Maryland hospital for injuries

By: Jackalyn Kovac

CUMBERLAND VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Almost 30 people were sent area hospitals after a charter bus crash in Bedford County Sunday afternoon.

The Freedom Excursions bus was traveling to Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Cumberland, Md., from Altoona, Blair County, and crashed about five miles from the Pennsylvania/Maryland state line on Route 220 (Bedford Valley Road) near the community of Centerville in Cumberland Valley Township.

When emergency responders got to the scene, dozens of passengers, including the driver, were injured.

"When we arrived the scene was kind of chaotic," said Cumberland Valley Township Fire Chief Mark Grape. "We were right in the middle of an 'S' turn at the top of a hill, we had no visibility from either side, and we had a tough time establishing communication with the traffic."

Ten people were taken to UPMC Bedford Hopsital for treatment and 15 were taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical in Cumberland for treatment.

According to WMRM, three patients were admitted for their injuries, the other 12 were checked and released.

The bus driver's son, Chuck Shultz, told 6 News his father's back was broken in two places, and that he would be staying in the hospital.

Those treated and released had minor injuries ranging from cuts to bruises.

State police investigators said speed was a factor in the crash, however a full report has not been released.

A woman riding on the bus with her mother, said the whole situation was scary, and she is blessed to be alive.

Dozens of crews were sent to the crash. Grape said the system of helping passengers off the bus worked well.

"We took two patients off the bus, put both in a unit, transported that out and brought another unit in, and we went both directions at the same time," Grape said. "This allowed us to get as many people out in the limited amount of space that we had."

Several passengers on the bus said it spun around several times before crashing into the hillside on Bedford Valley Road.


 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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