Authorities said six people were killed and 10 others injured after a school bus collided with a passenger bus in southwest Baltimore.
A school bus bound for Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School was heading east on Frederick Street at about 7 a.m. Tuesday and collided with a wall and fence at Loudoun Park Cemetery before it finished off a Ford Mustang. The bus continued on the road and eventually collided with a pole near the cemetery before crossing into opposing traffic and hitting a Maryland Transit bus carrying 13 people, a Baltimore police spokesman T. Smith said.
Describing the accident, Smith said, “It seems literally that a bomb exploded on the bus, which is catastrophic.”
The 67-year-old school bus driver and five MTA bus passengers were killed in the accident. One of the dead was on the bus, a 33-year-old driver.
The school aide was on the school bus at the time of the accident. She was lightly injured and is expected to survive. Police said there were no students on the school bus during the accident.
The eight survivors were taken on the MTA bus to district hospitals. Five people – four women and a man aged in their mid-twenties to mid-forties – were treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center Trauma Center. On Tuesday afternoon, the hospital said that one of the patients had been discharged from the medical center. Of the remaining four patients, one is in critical condition, the other is in serious condition, and the other two are in reasonable condition. Dr. Deborah Stein, head of the department of trauma at the Trauma Center, said at least one of the victims required surgery.
Mustang driver Sean Braxton, a retired DC police officer, was slightly injured in the accident.
Emotional Braxton said, “My heart breaks for missing loved ones.”
He said he was on his way to work when his car collided from behind. Braxton said he paid tribute to two women who came to help him – one of whom was a nurse.
He said, “It remained calm, which helped me keep calm, helped me hold together and helped me get out of the car – make sure I was still OK.”
Smith said some recording equipment has been recovered from one of the buses and is believed to contain video and other possible data. However, it is not known what the condition of the device is.
“We did not notice any kind of slip marks on the road, which leads us to believe that there was no kind of slowing down,” Smith said. “But we do not know all of these answers at the moment.”
A team of eight investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene in the afternoon to investigate the accident.