MT. PLEASANT, Pa. — Five people were killed and roughly 60 others were injured after a chain reaction crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike early Sunday morning. State police said a bus failed to navigate a turn, drove up and embankment and then crashed. Semi trucks behind the bus then collided as well as a passenger car.
Thirty-one people were taken to Excela Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Hospital officials said 27 were treated and released in stable condition. Four patients were sent to trauma centers in Pittsburgh: one child to UPMC Children’s Hospital and three adults to UPMC Presbyterian. The age range of patients taken to Frick hospital were from 7 to 52-years-old.
Eleven patients were taken to AHN Forbes Hospital in Monroeville. Two of them were in critical condition. One patient was transferred to Allegheny General Hospital. The rest of the individuals were listed in fair condition and were from 15 to 67-years-old.
Officials with Forbes Hospital said one of the most severe patients had a brain bleed. Hospital staff was put on alert once they learned of the crash, and various trauma teams were mobilized. A spokesperson said there were a number of Spanish speaking individuals brought to the hospital and they were to have staff on duty to help communicate. Hospital officials said none of the patients were from the Pittsburgh area and so a major part of helping the patients was getting in touch with family members.
A spokesperson for UPMC reports they received 22 patients from the crash. 18 were taken to UPMC Somerset where they were treated and released. Three patients were taken to UPMC Presbyterian and one child was transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital.
The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office released the identities of the five people who were killed in the Pa. Turnpike crash.
Below is the full list of the victims who were killed:
- Shuang Qing Feng, 58 – Flushing, New York – Bus Driver
- Eileen Zelis Aria, 35 – Bronx, New York – Bus Passenger
- Jaremy Vazquez, 9 – Brooklyn, New York – Bus Passenger
- Dennis L. Kehler, 48 – Lebanon, Pennsylvania – UPS Employee
- Daniel J. Kepner, 53 – Lewistown, Pennsylvania – UPS Employee
The coroner’s office said Dr. Cyril Wecht and pathology associates will be performing the autopsies on Monday to confirm their causes of death.
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According to state police, the passenger bus was being operated by Z&D Tours out of Rockaway, New Jersey. The bus was heading to Cincinnati. Police said a large portion of the people who were on the bus do not speak English. The American Red Cross was helping out with resources for connecting relatives, luggage, finding places to stay and more.
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