Investigation continues in bus crash that injured 32

Massachusetts State Police are continuing to investigate the scene where a bus crashed into an overpass, injuring several passengers, on Soldiers Field Road  Saturday night.

The MSP said they will reconstruct the collision to determine the cause of the accident before issuing any charges or citations. The reconstruction process will be finished in two-to-six weeks, according to a press release Monday.

On Saturday, the Boston Fire Department received a call at 7:34 p.m. that a Calvary Coach bus, which was full of students and chaperones on their way back to Pennsylvania after visiting Harvard University, crashed into the Western Avenue overpass on Soldiers Field Road, said Steve MacDonald, BFD spokesman.

“It [the overpass] shattered the whole roof off leaving many people trapped,” MacDonald said. “Approximately 36 people were on board. Thirty-two went to the hospital and three were in critical condition.”

The bus exceeded the 10-foot limit that prohibits large vehicles on the road, he said.

Michael Verseckes, Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesman, said the DOT was notified at about 8:10 p.m. that the bus struck, and by 9:42 p.m., officials closed the road.

A technical rescue response was needed to remove the victims trapped inside the bus. Firefighters used the Jaws of Life and backboards to remove the passengers from the top of the bus, MacDonald said.

By about 3 a.m., the bus was loaded on a flat bed truck and was towed away, he said.

Verseckes said the road reopened Sunday at 7:27 a.m. Massachusetts State Police said in a press release Monday the investigation is still ongoing.

“Troopers from the Brighton Barracks, along with members of our Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section, continue to review and analyze evidence,” according to the press release.

The MSP said the trove of evidence they collected is large.

“That evidence includes physical evidence, witness and victim statements, information pertaining to the bus’ route of travel prior to the crash and posted signage along that route, results from our examination of the bus and preliminary results of the collision reconstruction,”  to the press release stated.

One victim, a 17-year-old male, remains in critical condition, and others sustained serious injuries. No name is being released for the victim, according to the release.

Verseckes said the bridge and overpass were tested and no structural damage was found.

Many signs on the road are placed noting the height limit in the vicinity of the bridge, he said.

“Local people know they are not allowed down the road, but many out-of-towners rely on their GPS systems, which aren’t always reliable in these situations,” he said.

If the DOT were to make any changes to the overpass or the road, it would hurt the historic aspect of the bridge, Verseckes said.

“In Boston, there are many historic structures around, and to raise one would we need to raise them all. It would have to be a significant project,” he said.

Verseckes also said drivers on the road need to be cautious.

“It is supposed to be the driver’s responsibility to be observant,” he said. “We need people to exercise discretion on their part and be safe and careful when traveling.”

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