HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — Thirty people were injured when a motorcoach from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that was transporting eighth-grade students on a class trip to Washington, D.C., overturned on Monday.
According to a preliminary investigation, a car lost control while trying to pass the motorcoach on the left. The car veered off of the roadway to the left and then came back across three lanes of traffic, clipping the front of the motorcoach as it crossed in front of it, according to a news release from Maryland State Police. Greg Shipley of Maryland State Police told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the motorcoach may have overturned “at least once, possibly twice” during the crash.
Twenty-six Charles W. Henry School students, two staff members, one parent chaperone, and the driver were aboard the motorcoach at the time of the crash, according to an announcement on the School District of Philadelphia's website. A teacher and a student were airlifted to hospitals with critical injuries, according to the newspaper, and the other 28 passengers were taken to the hospital with less serious injuries.
Meanwhile, a police spokeswoman told The Philadelphia Inquirer that at least one bus that was transporting police officers from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., for National Police Week saw the accident and offered assistance. William R. Hite Jr., the superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, told the newspaper that some school staff members were already in Maryland by mid-day and others were traveling in district buses to hospitals where the injured passengers were located.
According to a review of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records, Werner Bus Lines, the company that reportedly owns the motorcoach that was involved in the accident, has had an increase in maintenance problems over the past two years. The company reported two crashes during that time frame; neither crash involved injuries or fatalities.