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1 Critical, 1 Serious After Boston Bus Crash That Injured 35

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – State Police said that six people remained in Boston area hospitals a night after a bus struck the Western Avenue Bridge, injuring 35 people.

One of those victims was in critical condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and another one was in serious condition at Boston Medical Center. The others had less serious injuries.

State Police say Samuel J. Jackson, 66, of Philadelphia, PA, was behind the wheel of a private Calvary Coach bus carrying students and chaperones on a college tour driving east when it struck the bridge around 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

In Photos: Bus Crash Leaves Dozens Injured

Authorities said the bus did not belong on the road, where a 10-foot height limit is in place and oversized vehicles are not authorized. State police said the driver “failed to heed signs” warning of the height limit and will likely be cited for an over-height violation. The investigation will determine if he faces more serious charges, state police said. The driver was not injured.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

The driver looked down at his GPS and saw the bridge when he looked up but it was too late to avoid hitting it, Ray Talmedge, owner of the Philadelphia-based Calvary Coach Bus company, told WCAU-TV.

Talmedge, who said he didn’t know anything about the road restrictions, said Jackson also drives a school bus.

State Police said no charges will be filed until their investigation is complete.

“Our investigation is ongoing into the driver, who is from Philadelphia,” Mass. State Police said in a statement Sunday. “Investigation will include how long he was driving yesterday. It was a day trip. There are federal motor carrier regulations as to how many hours someone can drive in a given period. I do not have those specific regulations at this time.”

Records show Calvary Coach has two busses and two drivers, and has a “satisfactory” rating with the Department of Transportation as of September 2011 with no reported crashes in the past two years.

Western Avenue and Soldiers Field Road were reopened Sunday morning after the bus crash closed the roadways overnight.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports on crash

Police have not identified anyone involved in the crash and there is no word on their conditions.

The 42 passengers on board, ranging in age from teenagers to adults, were from a Bristol, PA youth program called Destined for a Dream.

Destined for a Dream was founded by 2008 Olympic track and field medalist Erica Waller-Hill.

Waller-Hill  gives life coaching to young adults to empower them to pursue their dreams, according to Destined For A Dream website.

The group’s Facebook page said the trip to Harvard was to “visit the campus, sit with the office of cultural advancement, followed by a tour of the campus … followed by Harvard Square (shopping, eating, site seeing…etc…) This should be a fun time for all!”

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency is still gathering facts before deciding whether to make it a federal investigation.

A spokesman says the NTSB will get involved only if it believes safety will be improved so situations like this don’t happen again.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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