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Police Say Charter Tech High School Bus Crash Caused by Malfunction

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Posted on Dec 06, 2012

The school bus involved in a crash on the Garden State Parkway on November 12 recently failed an inspection, authorities say. 

The crash, which hospitalized at least 22 Charter Tech High School students, happened around 3:30 p.m. in Egg Harbor Township. The students were on their way back to their Somers Point campus from a trip to Atlantic City when a tire blew out near mile marker 34. 

One student, Jarrett Jasper, described the crash from the inside of the bus. "The bus started sifting back and forth and we went off the road and the bus almost flipped over," Jasper told reporters. 

Many students were taken to Atlantic City Regional Medical Center, and several others were taken to Shore Memorial in Somers Point. 

"We hit everything and everyone just stampeded off the bus, books were left. It was a wild scene," student Kayzie Burgos said.

Although New Jersey State Police refused to comment on the cause of the accident, photos of the scene suggest that the left rear wheel assembly did come off the bus. 

Tom Dugan, president of Safety Bus, confirmed the issue with the left wheel assembly. "I believe it did come off," he told reporters. "How or why, I do not know. I don't know why or what the situation was." 

Dugan also confirmed that bus 20057 failed a semi-annual state safety inspection October 18th, and that the right rear tire was rejected for having insufficient tread. That tire was replaced and the bus returned to service later that day.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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