Watch CBS News

State Police: Chain Reaction Turnpike Crash Started When Tour Bus Hit Center Median, Went Up Steep Embankment

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- New details are emerging on what caused Sunday's multi-vehicle crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that left five people dead and many more injured.

According to state police, the chain reaction crash began when the tour bus hit the center median near Turnpike mile marker 86.1, and then veered to the right, across the road, and went up a steep embankment. It all happened around 3:30 a.m.

The bus then flipped onto its left side, slid back down onto the road and hit the center median a second time before coming to a rest in both travel lanes.

The driver of the bus, 58-year-old Shuang Qing Feng of Flushing, New York, was thrown from the bus and died at the scene.

With the bus now on its side, state police say it was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. The impact threw two passengers from the bus.

Eileen Aria, 35, of the Bronx, New York, and 9-year-old Jaremy Vazquez of Brooklyn, New York, were also pronounced dead at the scene.

The tour bus was then hit by the first UPS tractor trailer. Two men were inside that rig. Dennis Kehler, 48, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and Daniel Kepner, 53, of Lewistown, Pennsylvania, died at the scene as well.

KDKA's Lindsay Ward Reports:


A Mercedes then hit into the side of the UPS tractor trailer, then the second UPS tractor trailer hit the Mercedes, pinning the vehicle between the two trucks.

The rest of the bus passengers and the people in the FedEx truck were all taken to local hospitals.

Excela Health in Westmoreland County saw the most patients. Of the 31 brought there, 27 were treated and released, three adults were transferred to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, and one child was transferred to Children's Hospital.

Of the patients at UPMC Presbyterian, two are in good condition and the other is in fair condition.

The pediatric patient at Children's Hospital is currently listed in good condition.


Forbes Hospital received 11 patients. Six of them were discharged, two are in critical condition and three are in fair condition.

At UPMC Somerset, all 18 patients were treated and released.

State police in New Stanton and the National Traffic Safety Board, NTSB, continue the investigation into the crash.

The Red Cross is helping the injured patients and their families.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.