Officials in New York state confirmed that two people were killed and more than 40 others were injured after a bus carrying youngsters to band camp toppled over on Thursday afternoon.
At a news conference on Thursday evening, state officials stated that five kids were seriously injured when a school bus carrying 40 students and four adults from the Farmingdale School District on Long Island went into a 50-foot ravine.
Families are suffering, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
“We have families, a school, a school district, a county, and, indeed, an entire state that is grieving at this time,” she continued.
A deadly collision happened on Interstate 84 in Wawayanda, approximately 75 miles northwest of New York City, at around 1:15 p.m.
Hochul thought that the event that killed Massapequa resident Gina Pellettiere, 43, and Farmingdale resident Beatrice Ferrari, 77, was caused by a faulty front tire.
She stressed that this was merely a preliminary look at the data. The inquiry will be carried out by the New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to a district spokeswoman, the Farmingdale students and chaperones traveled to Pennsylvania for band camp.
In a note to parents obtained by NBC New York, the Farmingdale School District labeled Pellettiere as band director and Ferrari as a chaperone and “the heart and soul of our marching band program.”
Ferrari’s daughter, Dr. Angela Ferrari-Aldieri, recalls her mother’s 10th grade global studies class being across the hall from the band room for the whole 32 years Ferrari taught at Farmingdale High School.
When another teacher stepped down, Ferrari asked Pellettiere to fill in as band camp chaperone, and she readily consented.
“My mom was like this grandma,” Ferrari-Aldieri said of her mother, “and the kids were able to feel comfortable and feel good talking to her.” She gave birth to Grandma Bea.
A sentimental Edward Hoschler, the father of a Farmingdale High School student who was on a separate bus to band camp, described the moment he learned his daughter was safe.
On Thursday, Hoschler took his daughter to the reunification facility, where they finally met.
“To see her face, it’s… nothing a parent wants to go through,” Hoschler said, his voice cracking. Your thoughts automatically move to the other passengers on the bus once you have confirmed their safety.
Hoschler expressed surprise that he didn’t know whether his daughter was on the bus that crashed.
“It’s just surreal,” he said. “I’m experiencing numbness…. You don’t appreciate how crucial it is until much later.
The weekend journey, according to Hoschler, is a much-anticipated event for both students and their families. According to Hoschler, 300 children planned to attend.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman couldn’t comprehend how a pleasant event could become terrible in such a short period of time.
“The one piece of advice I can give anyone tonight is to hug your children very tightly,” he said at the news conference. This is a priceless life. Our kids left this morning, looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with their friends.
In a letter, the school administration promised the community that classes will resume on Friday and counselors would be available.