WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Two people were severely injured in a multi-vehicle crash involving a Kiski Area school bus Tuesday morning in Westmoreland County.
Authorities said the crash happened just after 7 a.m. at the intersection of Route 66 and Pleasant Valley Road in Washington Township when an SUV hit a school bus head-on.
According to police, Dwayne Miller, 44, was driving an SUV southbound when he tried to pass two stopped cars by going into the northbound lanes.
Investigators said Miller’s SUV crashed head-on into the school bus, which had just loaded a group of high school and middle school students at the intersection.
“He didn’t see the bus. He never even saw it,” witness Virginia Hambersky said. “I said, ‘Stop, you know how. Put your brakes on.’”
Miller’s SUV then struck Lawrence Ross’s vehicle, which he had just passed. Ross suffered a minor injury.
Miller was entrapped in his SUV, and was unconscious when emergency crews arrived at the scene. A woman from that SUV also suffered a severe injury and was flown to a hospital, authorities said.
Daniel Stevens, of the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety, said that the school bus was transporting about 15 students at the time of the crash. Stevens said none of the students were injured.
By 8 a.m., all of the students had successfully exited the bus, and by 9 a.m. they were at school.
Channel 11’s Dave Bondy reported that school administration recommended three kids be taken to an area hospital as a precaution.
"You're never ready for something like this," said Washington Township Fire Capt. Mark Grinder. "They are checking (the students) out now for minor aches and pains."
The driver of the school bus, 62-year-old Alma Gestner, was taken to an area hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, police said.
The crash remains under investigation, but Washington Township police said they anticipate charges being filed against Miller.