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2 dead after Megabus traveling to Philadelphia crashes on New Jersey Turnpike; 17 injured

6abc Action News
6abc Action News
 2022-08-11
State police say two people are dead after a Megabus crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike Tuesday evening.

The crash happened shortly before 7 p.m. in Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County.

"There was enough time to register what was about to happen, which was terrifying," said Reid Kleinman, a Philadelphia resident who was on board the bus.

Kleinman was sitting on the lower level of the double-decker bus at the time.

"I thought, 'I hope it's a rolling stop.' And then once it didn't slow down, I thought, 'I hope this isn't it. I really hope this isn't it,'" he said.

Police say the bus, with 22 passengers and the driver on board, was traveling southbound in the left lane of the outer roadway.

Investigators say the bus driver lost control of the bus near mile marker 93.2 and hit a Ford F-150 traveling in the left-center lane.

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After impact, the bus went off the road, struck a guardrail, and overturned onto the Thomas Edison Service Area entrance ramp.

"We heard kind of a pop, explosion type thing - like a small one - and the bus started rattling and shaking and it started to veer to the right, and across a couple lanes of traffic, hit a barricade, crashed and flipped over," Kleinman said.

"Everybody else was kind of out of it, really out of it. There was one kid, he was the only one wearing a seatbelt and he was still hanging by the seatbelt. There's broken glass, there's smoke everywhere - just general confusion," said Kleinman.

Police say of the 22 passengers on board, two have died. One of them, 59-year-old Cheryl Johnson of Bronx, New Jersey, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another victim, 66-year-old Cecilia Kiyanitza of Woodbury, New Jersey, was airlifted to the hospital but later died.

Meanwhile, two other passengers sustained serious injuries and 14 sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Four passengers were unharmed.

The driver of the bus was also seriously injured, police say.

"Went to see the bus driver who was pretty much unconscious. Woke him up and tried to get him out, but his leg was stuck and broken under the steering wheel or something," he said.

Kleinman is grateful to the good Samaritans who stopped to help and is feeling lucky to be alive.

"It's a real tribute to humanity how people are just willing to stop and help. There were tens of people with cases of water, asking how everyone was doing, making sure everyone ok. It was just incredible," he said.

The driver of the Ford was not hurt.

As for Kleinman, he suffered a concussion - along with bumps and bruises - in the crash.

Police say the crash remains under investigation.

Comments / 23

Tony D
08-10

Jesus.. 🙏🙏 I would never step on one of those Mega buses.. you have to wonder if those drivers know how to handle that bus..

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10
Margaret Sigler
08-10

awwwww Sincere condolences to the family for the one Person who did died. Prayers going up for recovery of those that was seriously injured in this bus crash. wow .

Reply(1)
6
Bark
08-10

People driving pickup trucks drive like they're always in a rush to speed and intimidate the road.

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7

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