Tour bus operator dies after collision with tractor trailer - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Tour bus operator dies after collision with tractor trailer

Posted: Updated: Feb 23, 2014 08:58 AM

WEST HAVEN, Vt., - Vermont State Police have confirmed that there was one fatality connected to the tractor trailer and tour bus collision which happened Friday night.

Around 8:00 p.m. on Friday, a 911 call came in for a report of a two vehicle collision on VT Route 22A. According to authorities, the tractor trailer unit jackknifed and stopped on the road. At the same time, the tour bus was traveling northbound when it saw the trailer, lost control, and stuck the trailer after hitting guard rails. There were 32 passengers on board.

Vermont State Police closed the road for several hours and traffic was rerouted, while patients were taken to local hospitals and the vehicles were cleared from the scene.

According to State Police, the bus driver was pinned within the bus and critically injured. Darnell Hannah, 59, of New Jersey, was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.

Two passengers sustained moderate injuries and the rest of the passengers sustained minor injuries. The operator of the tractor trailer unit is identified as Haroon Kalid, age 34 from Pennsylvania.

The tour bus was part of the company Triple D Travel which is out of New Jersey.

Authorities say the roads were covered in ice at the time of this accident, which was a contributing factor in the collision.

Witnesses of the fatal crash called for help.

"Well my wife and I were having a meal in the living room and I heard the big crash," said Ben Benassi of West Haven.

Benassi watched out the window as his wife called 911.

"She had the lady on the phone so she was telling her to better send more people," said Benassi.

Benassi said the section of 22A where the crash occurred is a major problem spot.

"Oh no we've probably called three times in the last month," he said.

Anyone else who may have witnessed this accident is urged to contact the Vermont State Police In Rutland at 802-773-9101.

The Vermont State Police say they treated this accident as a mass casualty incident. The received assistance from West Haven Fire Department, Fair Haven Fire and Rescue, Poultney Fire and Rescue, Rutland Regional Ambulance, Orwell Fire and First Response, Benson First Response, Granville Rescue, Wallingford Rescue, Fair Haven Police Department, Castleton Police Department, Department of Motor Vehicles, Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; and the Vermont State Police Crash Reconstruction Team.

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