Bus crash in Atlantic City, NJ, injures 24 people; 1 still in critical condition

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bus crash in Atlantic City injures 24 people

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A bus carrying 50 people to this seaside gambling resort from New York’s Chinatown rear-ended a car Thursday, skidding along a retaining wall on a bridge for 80 feet before stopping. The crash injured 24 people.

Two people initially were listed in critical condition, but one person’s condition was later upgraded, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The bus driver was thrown from the vehicle. A hospital spokeswoman would not comment on his condition.

“There was traffic stopped in front of him and he realized he was having issues stopping the bus,” police Capt. Joseph Nolan said.

The bus initially rear-ended a Mazda, which spun around, then hit the center divider, police said. The bus then swerved across the road, striking the retaining wall on a bridge over Absecon Bay.

“At this time, the bus driver was ejected from the vehicle,” said police Lt. Charles Love. It was not immediately clear if the bus driver was wearing a seat belt.

The bus windshield was smashed out and its front grill and bumper were gone. Its front passenger door was mangled and hanging off the side.

In addition to those most seriously injured, 22 others were taken to hospitals. Hospital officials would not release information on their injuries, but a hospital spokeswoman said some had been released by late afternoon. Uninjured passengers were taken to the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

The bus is owned by Sun Lee Bus Co. of New York City and was carrying passengers from Chinatown, police said.

The accident occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on eastbound Route 40, known locally as Albany Avenue, on the outskirts of the city.

Sgt. Stephen Jones, a New Jersey State Police spokesman, said state inspectors would examine the bus to see if a mechanical defect may have contributed to the accident.

Associated Press reporter Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton contributed to this report.

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