Image: Emergency workers respond to a bus rollover
Zachary P. Stephens  /  AP
Emergency workers respond to a bus rollover Friday, in Putney, Vt. The Quebec-bound bus was chartered by a private group and left from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. news services
updated 12/3/2010 10:27:49 PM ET 2010-12-04T03:27:49

A bus chartered for a UMass ski trip flipped over on Interstate 91 and slid down an embankment in Putney, Vt., Friday afternoon, leaving 17 injured, according to Vermont State Police.

The Tour World bus was one of three that left from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., and was bound for Quebec, Canada.

The bus company is based in Danville, Pa.

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The trip was organized by by a private group and not all on board were students, police said.

The school sent university vehicles to Vermont to transport students back to campus, UMass spokesman Patrick Callahan said.

Officials did not know how the bus crossed to the southbound side of I-91, the Brattleboro Reformer said. The bus driver might have had a heart attack, the Reformer said.

Eight people were taken to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with cuts and bruises, and they were treated and released, spokeswoman Barbara Gentry said.

Eight with minor injuries were treated and released from Springfield Hospital.

The driver was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and was listed as stable.

The Weather Channel reported conditions at the time of the crash were 37 degrees and cloudy, with 5-10 mph winds from the northwest.

Police initially said 30 people were injured, three of them critically.

But police later reduced the number of injured to 17, and a spokeswoman cited the chaotic scene as a reason for the discrepancy.

"It's better than we originally anticipated," said Stephanie Dasaro, a spokeswoman for the Vermont State Police, who cited the chaotic scene for the discrepancy.

A crash reconstruction team was on the scene investigating Friday night, she said. Police didn't immediately say whether the driver would face charges.

The highway's southbound side was closed for several hours. State Police reported it was reopened to normal traffic around 10 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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