Formerly Known As 80-RE4
Posted - 05/17/2011 : 07:07:42 AM
| By Linda Bock TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS A teenager allegedly ran a stop sign and crashed his SUV into an empty school bus yesterday morning, causing the bus driver to lose control and plow the bus into the living room of a Pleasant Street home.
The driver of the SUV, his passenger, and the occupants of the house escaped injury in the crash, but the 58-year-old bus driver suffered a minor injury to his hand.
Evan Perotto, 17, of Worcester, will be cited for failing to stop at a stop sign, police said.
The resulting traffic snarl along Pleasant Street was anything but pleasant.
Police were called to 862 Pleasant St. about 7:40 a.m. There, they found a school bus had jumped over a sidewalk, over a stone wall and into the living room of the home of Jim and Mary Elizabeth Maloney.
Mr. Maloney was on a couch in the den at the front of the house reading a magazine when he heard a loud noise.
All of a sudden I heard the shaking noise, so I went from the den to the living room and obviously saw these things, Mr. Maloney said. What he saw was a yellow school bus inches away from his pushed-in front living room window.
He said the bus hit the brick two-story home and bounced back about a foot away, cracking the foundation and damaging the side of the house. He said it would have come through the wall had it been a wood-frame structure.
The window and radiator of the house were pushed in, but the wall remained intact. There were large cracks in the wall. Glass shards covered the living room. The bus also tore a section of the neighbor's front yard.
Mrs. Maloney said, Wow, what a way to wake up. An administrator at Becker College, she said she was in no rush to get to school yesterday morning because she planned to attend an end-of-the-year staff picnic.
David Etedgee lives around the corner from the Maloneys.
I heard a loud bang, Mr. Etedgee said. He dialed 911 on his cellphone, and then headed over to see if he could help. We're so lucky that nobody was hurt. That's for sure.
According to the initial investigation by Worcester police, Mr. Perotto's 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer was traveling south on Lenox Street when he failed to stop at the stop sign at Pleasant Street. He crashed into the empty school bus, which was going west on Pleasant Street.
Pleasant Street was closed in both directions while workers tried to maneuver the bus away from the house and off the stone wall. Drivers on Pleasant Street headed east waited so long they got out of their cars and took pictures of the bus. A tow truck pulled the Chevrolet Trailblazer out of Lenox Street onto Pleasant Street so vehicles headed west could be detoured onto Lenox.
At one point one of the tow truck drivers was able to crawl through the rear emergency window and make his way up to the steering wheel. He was just as surprised as everyone watching when the bus engine started right up. He was able to assist the tow truck by backing the bus slowly down the hill and back onto the street.
Mr. Maloney, a lawyer, called his insurance company, as well as his own personal insurance adjustor. He also called his son, Patrick, who lives nearby, to come and take photos.
I knew I needed more hands on deck, Mr. Maloney said.
The Worcester public schools contracts busing to Durham School Services, and the bus company sent its own tow truck and team.
A spokeswoman for the School Department said the bus driver was shaken, not hurt. She said it was fortunate there were no students on the bus, which was probably between morning runs.
Police did not release the name of the bus driver. Police spokesman Kerry F. Hazelhurst said the department does not release the names of accident victims.