Congers, NY Train - School Bus Wreck, Mar 1972
Train Hits School Bus; 3 Killed.
CONGERS, N. Y. (UPI) - A Penn Central freight train smashed into a school bus at a crossing here today, killing at least three children and injuring 40 others, many critically.
The train sliced the bus in two, dragging part of it 1,000 feet along the tracks and strewing children along the way, police said.
The bus was carrying students from the South Congers area to Nyack High School when it was struck by the train shortly before 8 a. m., police said.
Patrolman DON COCKER of the Clarkstown police said five of the injured students had limbs amputated in the accident and at least 40 injured students were taken to Nyack Hospital.
Anguished parents crowded the hospital lobby as mothers sobbed, "Is my child here?"
COCKER said police had been unable to question the driver, who was also hospitalized, but it was believed the bas was moving when it was struck by the train at a crossing marked with a sign but without crossing barriers.
Two students were pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and a third died later at a nearby hospital.
NED MEARA, who lives near the crossing, said the bus was "a tangled mess of steel" after the collision with the three-engine, 83-car train.
The Daily Messenger Canandaigua New York 1972-03-24
Downstate Bus-Train Crash Kills 3 Pupils.
CONGERS, N. Y. (AP) - A freight train rammed into a school bus at a rural grade crossing Friday, killing three high school pupils and injuring 47 persons, eight of them critically. Bus wreckage was scattered along the track for a quarter mile.
Local and federal investigators launched an investigation into the tragedy, pegged initially to a determination whether the bus had stopped at the crossing.
Two of the youngsters were killed when pinned under the train and one died en route to a hospital. Five of the injured were reported in serious condition, some with loss of limbs.
At Nyack Hospital where all seven operating rooms were in use, TIMOTHY WILKINS, 16, one of the 50 passengers on the bus, described the scene:
"All of a sudden, someone yelled, 'Train.' I looked up and the train was there. I heard the train brakes and I heard the engine - that's all you could hear. I just couldn't believe it. It was unreal."
Young victims, twisted wreckage, books and lunches were scattered around the scene, in Rockland County some 25 miles northwest of New York City.
Volunteer firemen swarmed to the scene in response to a mutual aid alarm. They used earth-moving equipment and acetylene torches to clear the debris and free the victims.
A spokesman for Penn Central said the accident took place at 7:55 a. m., at what he described as a private crossing, with no warning gates, lights or bells.
The Troy Record New York 1972-03-25
The listing of the fatalities:
ROBERT MAUTERER, 14.
RICHARD MACAYLO, 18.
JAMES McGUINNESS, 16.
THOMAS GROSSE, 14, died early Monday after the Friday accident.
All resided in the small hamlet of Valley Cottage, N. Y.