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50 students involved in Pa. school bus, trailer crash

The Geisinger Wyoming Valley announced a mass casualty incident to increase ED staffing



By Ed Lewis
The Times Leader

BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A school bus carrying approximately 50 children to the Bear Creek Community Charter School was involved in a head-on crash with a flatbed trailer on state Route 115 near Laurel Run Road Wednesday morning.

State Police Captain Pat Dougherty, Troop P commander, Wilkes-Barre, said the crash was reported just after about 8 a.m.

The driver of the school bus, Suzanne Ent, 53, of Wilkes-Barre, and driver of the flatbed trailer, Edward Steinmann, 28, of Effort, suffered moderate injuries while children suffered minor injuries, Dougherty said at a news conference outside Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.

Geisinger Wyoming Valley announced a mass casualty incident for extra emergency room staff due to the high number of patients.

Joanne Quaglia, manager of internal communications at Geisinger Wyoming Valley, said 50 juvenile patients were treated and released by 2:30 p.m. Two juveniles remained under evaluation at the medical facility while two adult patients were admitted, one in good condition and the other in fair condition.

Dougherty said a preliminary investigation of the crash indicated Steinmann suffered an unknown medical issue and crossed into the oncoming lane, striking the school bus, which was traveling south toward the charter school.

The crash happened on the second day of the charter school’s academic year.

“Both vehicle operators were transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Another school bus was brought in to transport the children to Geisinger Wyoming Valley and escorted by state police,” Dougherty said.

The charter school notified parents of the crash.

“Although this was an unfortunate event, we are grateful that there were no serious injuries,” Dougherty said. “We wish everyone a speedy recovery and we thank the assisting agencies for their help in this investigation. I’d like to thank the good citizens who stopped and rendered aid.”

Dougherty said firefighters and emergency medical technicians from Bear Creek Voluntary Hose Co. and Laurel Run Fire Department, along with Good Samaritans, assisted the children at the scene before they were transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

Jim Smith, chief executive officer at the charter school, thanked state police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and the staff at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

Dougherty said the state police accident reconstruction team, forensic services unit and motor safety carrier unit are involved in the investigation.

Route 115 in the area of Laurel Run Road reopened to traffic at about 12 p.m. said Trooper Bill Evans, public information officer for Troop P.

Assisting at the scene were Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance, Plains Volunteer Ambulance, and Trans-Med Ambulance.

The crash Wednesday morning is the second school bus crash linked to the charter school.

A bus with 15 children on the way to the school was stopped in a turning lane on Route 315, Plains Township, when it was struck head-on by a tractor-trailer on May 18, 2021.

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