NTSB team will visit crash site Monday
TOWN OF LOUISVILLE, New York (WWNY) - The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) will send a 6-member team to St. Lawrence County after 6 people died in a head-on crash between a bus and a moving truck. New York State Police says in addition to the adult deaths, one person is in critical condition and two more were seriously hurt.
The crash happened at 6 AM Saturday on State Route 37 in the Town of Louisville between a 2021 Freightliner box truck and a 2013 express bus.
There were 15 people on the bus and one driver on the box truck. 7NEWS is told many of the people involved didn’t speak English.
Officials described the crash site as “gruesome,” and said emergency crews did an “amazing job” in dealing with the large number of people dead or injured.
“Everybody worked really good together. Everybody was on the same page. But like I said it was a very difficult scene for everyone there,” said Matt Denner, St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director, “We had ambulances from Potsdam from Canton, Ogdensburg, Norfork. We were not lacking transporting agencies or EMTS.”
First responders say that nearby hospitals were a major help, with victims being transported to Massena Memorial, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.
“We reached out to the three closest hospitals. They got back to us within minutes of what their capacities were. I know they called in staff,” said Denner.
The bus has a company name and logo on it that appears to be affiliated with the solar energy company LBFNY, based in Central New York. The company’s website says it specializes in commercial solar farms. It also shows there are 2 projects the company is working on in the Madrid area.
LBFNY was incorporated as a “limited liability company” in 2021. Neither the company’s owner, Jim Begley, nor anyone else from LBFNY could be reached for comment Monday morning.
Syracuse.com reported that LBFNY advertised as offering employees transportation to and from work sites, and to essential services like grocery stores.
A link on the company’s web site to employment information - only in Spanish - was not available Monday.
St. Lawrence County initiated its Mass Casualty Plan. 15 ambulances were called to the scene.
The highway was closed between County Route 14 and Coles Creek Road for 11 hours Saturday as the NYSP accident reconstruction team investigated the scene.
Road conditions were snow covered, with bad visibility. The box truck was said to be fully loaded at the time of the crash.
In response, Waddington’s mayor extended his gratitude to first responders and hospital workers, thanking them for quote “being there at the worst of times” but also granting them grace to deal with what they witnessed.
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