Dense fog is being blamed for a fatal accident in Evans City earlier this morning. A paratransit bus was struck by a train at a railroad crossing resulting in the death of a 91 year-old woman who was a passenger on the bus. Another passenger was severely injured. Nine other bus passengers were taken via ambulance to area hospitals.
It’s reported that the operator of the train saw the bus in the crossing prior to the impact, blew his horn, and applied the train’s brakes. Nonetheless, the train was unable to stop prior to impact.
Michael Robb, executive director of the Alliance for Nonprofit Resources Inc., the company that owns the bus, denied that the bus had been stopped on the railroad tracks. Mr. Robb stated, “”I don’t believe the bus stopped on the train tracks at all…He stopped prior to the tracks as he’s required and as he was crossing the tracks he was hit.” Mr. Robb added, “We don’t have an understanding whether there was a horn. There’s no lighting here or stockade-type fencing that comes down to indicate a train is coming.”
Evans City police Chief Joseph McCombs said that the bus was transporting older adults and mentally challenged adults.