Image: Tour bus crash
Sean Stipp  /  AP
Tour bus passengers line up along the guard rail Monday while they wait to be transported from the scene of a bus accident along the eastbound lane of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
updated 6/27/2011 5:08:31 PM ET 2011-06-27T21:08:31

A bus carrying Asian tourists rear-ended a flatbed tractor-trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Monday, killing the bus driver and injuring two dozen passengers, officials said.

Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth Bacha identified the driver as 39-year-old Bo Hua Tan from New York City.

One of the 35 passengers aboard the bus was taken by helicopter to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown. Sixteen others were taken by ambulances to Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant and seven more to Somerset Hospital.

By mid-afternoon, Frick and Somerset hospitals said their passengers had been released. Conemaugh Hospital would not release information about the status of the passenger airlifted there.

The driver of the flatbed tractor-trailer sustained moderate injuries in the accident, which happened at about 7:30 a.m. near the Donegal exit, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh. The turnpike was shut down for the crash investigation until 12:30 p.m.

Image: Tour bus crash
Sean Stipp  /  AP
A Pennsylvania State Police trooper climbs out of the emergency exit after looking over the damage caused to a tour bus carrying a group of Asian tourists.

The tour bus was registered to Mr. Ho Charter Service of Bethlehem. A man who answered the phone for the company identified himself as Edward Ho and said the bus was carrying two drivers, who alternated during the trip from Kentucky to New York City. One driver was unhurt, Ho said.

Federal safety records show the company was over the acceptable threshold for drivers who are cited for fatigued driving, with a 68.9 percent score. Anything over 50 percent is over the threshold.

Since February, a series of major bus crashes have resulted in fatalities across the country. Fifteen people were killed in March when a bus rolled on its side and struck a pole in New York, shearing the top off much of the vehicle.

Last month, four people died when a bus crashed after the driver dozed off at the wheel in Virginia and a 6-year-old boy died in a crash in Kentucky.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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