Tour bus overturns in N.J. Turnpike crash

Crews work to pull the overturned tour bus out of the woods after it collided with a tractor trailer in the southbound lanes of the N.J. Turnpike in West Deptford just after 12:30 a.m. on May 26, 2017.

Authorities Friday continued their investigation of the cause of an accident in which a tour bus overturned in a crash with a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike in Gloucester County, sending nearly three dozen passengers to hospitals with minor injuries.

The crash happened in the southbound lanes about 12:30 a.m. Friday near mile marker 19 in West Deptford, according to New Jersey State Police.

Thirty-two of the 50 passengers on the tour bus, which was traveling to Atlanta, were taken to local hospitals, Trooper Alejandro Goez said. Only minor injuries occurred.

Camera icon Elizabeth robertson / Staff Photographer
A crash involving a tour bus and tractor-trailer injured at least 30 people in the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike in Gloucester County.

The other 18 riders were taken to the municipal building in Woolwich Township to arrange for further transportation. The coach bus was operated by PandaNY Bus, a New York City-based company. It was registered to Eagle Bus, based in Waltham, Mass., Goez said.

No injuries were reported to the drivers of the tractor-trailer and the bus.

The circumstances of the accident, in which the tractor-trailer jackknifed, remain under investigation.

Shawn Wu, a representative of PandaNY Bus, said Friday afternoon that the bus was rear-ended by the truck.

Wu also said that buses had been dispatched to pick up the passengers from the hospital and other locations, and that they would be taken back to New York or on to their destinations if they chose. All luggage would also be delivered, he said.

Camera icon Elizabeth robertson / Staff Photographer
Passengers on the bus wait for transportation after the crash.

The crash comes less than two weeks after a harrowing tour bus crash on Interstate 95 in Maryland. In that incident, a bus carrying eighth-grade students from C.W. Henry School and their chaperones on a class trip to Washington overturned after being struck by a car trying to pass it. That crash left 29 people hurt, some seriously, including a special-education teacher who suffered critical injuries and remains in a medically induced coma.