New Smithville, PA Bus Crashes Through Guardrail, July 1970
7 CHILDREN ON EXCURSION KILLED IN BUS WRECK.
51 OTHERS INJURED IN PLUNGE.
Allentown, Pa. (UPI) -- A chartered bus carrying school children on a tour of the Pennsylvania Amish country skidded in a rainstorm and rolled over a 50-foot embankment Wednesday, pinning dead and injured in the wreckage.
Seven children were killed and 51 other persons on the bus were injured, police said.
The dead were identified as:
BONNIE EISENBERG, 437 Beach 123rd St., Belle Harbor, N.Y.
NANCY JACOBSON, 1071 Fordham Lane, Woodmere, N.Y.
RANDEE LEWIS, 568 Norman Way, Woodmere, N.Y.
RANDI PRESS, 486 Oxford Road, Cedarhurst, N.Y.
SPENCER JAFFE, 43 Lawrence Avenue, Lawrence, N.Y.
JOHATHAN ELSTEIN, 818 Cornaga Ave., Far Rockaway, N.Y.
LISA GERSTMAN, 43 Cloverdale Rd., Valley Stream, N.Y.
Loaded with children and counselors from the Hillel School, a private Jewish day school in Lawrence, N.Y., the bus skidded on a slight curve on rain-slick U.S. 22, 10 miles west of Allentown.
The bus ripped through guardrails, fell nose first down the hill, flipped over and landed against the stone foundation of an old vacant house, a state trooper said. The roof and the side of the bus were ripped open.
One of the children, DANIEL STEINBERG, 11, of Far Rockaway, N.Y., said the bus went into a spin, "rotating around me."
"It went side to side down the hill," he said, "and when it stopped I looked and saw a little hole to the left of me, a foot wide, and I and about six others crawled through the hole."
Some of the occupants were thrown from the bus and about six persons were pinned beneath it. Others were trapped inside.
"It was a mess," said State Trooper ROBERT CLARSON, one of the first persons at the crash scene. "There were children all over -- in the embankment, in the grass, in the bus."
"They were crying and very upset. Most of them appeared to be in shock."
A dozen motorists and truck drivers stopped to administer first aid, he said. "They tried to comfort the children, to stop the bleeding with towels and blankets."
Anguished parents gathered at the plush school in Lawrence, a wealthy New York City suburb, after they were told about the crash. Many of them just wandered aimlessly through the corridors.
Some set out in cars or on a small commuter airlines flight to get to Allentown. Other parents obtained reservations on two commercial airline flights.
School officials told the parents they would be notified when word of their children was received from Allentown. At least five of the injured were counselors, a spokesman said.
Some of the truckers who stopped at the crash scene brought hydraulic jacks and helped life the wrecked but with cables. Rescue crews then combed through the rubble. Nine ambulances took the dead and injured away.
The Post-Standard Syracuse New York 1970-07-16
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!