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Bus Carrying Teens In Long Island Strikes Overpass, Causing Injuries

A bus that was carrying teenage passengers sits on the side of the roadway after it hit an overpass on the Southern State Parkway in Lakeview, N.Y., on Sunday.
Kevin Hagen

A bus carrying dozens of high school students, returning from a spring break trip to Europe, struck a low-clearance bridge overpass on Long Island on Sunday night.

Photos show the bus roof mangled or sheared off along the entire length of the bus. Most of the passengers experienced minor injuries, with a handful of more serious injuries; no fatalities have been reported.

The passengers on the bus included 38 students, all between 16 and 18 years old, and five adult chaperones, all returning from a trip to Eastern Europe. They were headed from John F. Kennedy International Airport to a mall in Suffolk County, the New York state police say.

There were two serious injuries and five "moderate" injuries, the police say, and the passengers were taken to several hospitals.

The bus struck a bridge overpass on the Southern State Parkway, where most commercial vehicles are not allowed to operate. Maj. David Candelaria, a spokesman for the state police, called the accident a "high-impact strike," USA Today reports.

"We are very lucky. This could have been tragic," Candelaria said.

The Associated Press reports:

"Police said the driver was being evaluated and did not seem to be familiar with commercial vehicle restrictions on the parkway.

"The minimum clearance on the parkway is 7 feet, 10 inches ... and accidents involving vehicles striking overpasses [are] not uncommon on the parkway. In 2017, there were reports that an electronic alarm system would be installed on the parkway to warn drivers of vehicles too high for the overpass."

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Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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