RAYNE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A school bus driver was killed here on Tuesday when a pickup truck struck her bus head-on.
According to a public information release provided to SBF by the Pennsylvania State Police, the incident occurred at about 3:41 p.m. on Tuesday in Rayne Township, a small town about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
The crash involved three vehicles, according to police: a 2014 Ram pickup truck, a 2011 Nissan Rogue, and a 2019 Blue Bird school bus.
The information release from the Pennsylvania State Police detailed the sequence of the crash: The westbound pickup truck impacted the back left side of the Nissan, which was stopped in the west lane of travel waiting to turn left. The truck then veered into the east lane of travel and collided with the front of the school bus.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, school bus driver Sarah Slovinsky, 34, was transported by ambulance from the crash scene, but she later succumbed to her injuries. The drivers of the truck and the Nissan were not injured. All three drivers were wearing seat belts, police said.
Trooper Clifford Greenfield, a public information officer for the Pennsylvania State Police, told SBF that there were no students aboard the school bus when the crash occurred.
The Pennsylvania State Police and other emergency personnel responded to the scene. Investigators are now working on a reconstruction of the crash, police said.
Slovinsky was remembered fondly by those who knew her.
Jeff Vrabel Sr., executive director of transportation and fleet services for Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools, knew Slovinsky before she became a school bus driver: He coached her in basketball at Struthers (Ohio) High School.
“I remember her being a player and person with a huge heart who would do anything for anyone,” Vrabel told SBF, adding that Slovinsky “always hustled and was the perfect teammate.”
Slovinsky’s husband, Thomas Slovinsky, is a member of the Plumville District Volunteer Fire Department, which is stationed about 10 miles from Rayne Township.
Fire Chief Bill Hutchison told The Indiana Gazette that the Slovinskys have three sons, and he described Sarah Slovinsky as “a wonderful person; everybody loved her.”
Clint Weimer, superintendent of Marion Center Area School District, told The Indiana Gazette that Sarah Slovinsky had worked for four years for the district’s contractor, Smith Bus Co., but her contributions went beyond that role.
“She was a prominent young lady in our schools; she was active in the PTA,” Weimer told the newspaper. “She was a very valuable member of our school community.”