published Friday, July 18th, 2014

Canadian tour bus rolls over in New York; 1 dead

Emergency personnel investigate the scene of a bus accident on Interstate 87, also known as the Adirondack Northway, in North Hudson, N.Y. on Friday July 18, 2014.
Emergency personnel investigate the scene of a bus accident on Interstate 87, also known as the Adirondack Northway, in North Hudson, N.Y. on Friday July 18, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NORTH HUDSON, N.Y. — A Canadian tour bus carrying 56 people rolled over Friday in upstate New York, killing a teenage girl and seriously injuring several other people, police said.

The Canadian teenager was partially ejected from the bus and pinned underneath it at about 8 a.m. on Interstate 87, also known as the Adirondack Northway. Chelssy Mercier, 14, of Quebec had been traveling with her mother on the bus from Trois Rivieres, Quebec, to New York City, said State Police Maj. Richard Smith.

A passenger airlifted from the scene was among several who suffered serious injuries. The Canadian passengers, who ranged in age from 6 to 54, suffered injuries that included broken bones and cuts, though none appeared to be life-threatening, Smith said.

"I could say we are fortunate that only one of the individuals on the bus lost their lives," Smith told reporters.

The cause remains under investigation.

There was no apparent sign that the 61-year-old driver skidded before the bus broke through a guard rail, fell on its side and slid down a grassy hill in the median about 90 miles north of Albany.

Smith said the unidentified driver had passed inspections in two states in the past year. He was being interviewed by police, who also were deposing each passenger.

Most of the passengers climbed through the shattered windshield and some got out through an emergency hatch in the roof, Smith said. Two Canadian families traveling behind the bus pulled over immediately to help.

"Each family risked their own safety, traveled into the median and did everything they could to assist at the scene, including attempting to lift the bus off our deceased, by helping with CPR and they remained for a significant period of time afterward to help in our investigation," Smith said.

Josiane Grimard of JaimonVoyage.com, the tour operator, said the vehicle was owned by a subcontractor, Fleur de Lys. The subcontractor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ten local rescue squads responded to the scene.

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