MUDDY CREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - A school bus crash in Butler County claimed the lives of a teen and bus driver and sent multiple people to the hospital.
According to state police, a 14-year-old girl and the 31-year-old bus driver died as a result of the crash.
Dispatchers say a bus and tractor-trailer crashed on I-79 near Route 422 in Muddy Creek Township. Video from NewsChopper 2 shows that the school bus rear-ended the tractor-trailer.
The bus was carrying students from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, Beaver County near the Ohio border. The school board president says they were going home.
"We are deeply saddened to learn the events that took place this afternoon," president Richard Grimes said.
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State Police say "severe to moderate" injuries were reported from the bus. Passengers were taken to UPMC Children's Hospital by medical helicopter and ambulance and UPMC Presby by ambulance.
A spokesperson for UPMC says Children's Hospital has five students with minor injuries.
Uninjured bus passengers have been reunited with their families.
At a press conference, authorities did not comment on the bus driver and said more information would be released as the investigation unfolds.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with all those students and our driver who was involved in the accident," Grimes said.
Ladders were seen coming from the driver's side of the bus next to the third seat, as well as the back of the bus. The front end appears to be totaled.
Both northbound and southbound were closed from the Portersville exit to milepost 102. While southbound is open, police say the investigation is in the infancy stages and northbound will be closed for an "extensive" period of time.
As of 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, I-79 North has reopened.
Medical helicopters and ambulances were seen taking patients from the scene.
The side of the bus reads RJ Rhodes Transit. KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso talked to Bob Rhodes, the owner of the bus company.
He said he learned about the crash after getting a call from a parent whose child was on the bus. He said he is waiting for state police to give him the condition of the driver.
He said the driver is middle-aged and was driving students to Hermitage. There are usually 15 to 20 high school students on the bus.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
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