Police: Tour bus driver dead in Vt. truck crash
THE ASSOCIATED PRESSWEST HAVEN, Vt. -- A tour bus struck a jackknifed tractor-trailer on an icy western Vermont roadway, killing the bus driver, police said Saturday.
Vermont State Police said the truck was stopped on state Route 22A in West Haven on Friday night when the bus crested a hill, lost control and careened into the guard rails and the trailer.
The bus driver, Darnell Hannah, 59, of Millstone, N.J., was trapped in the wreckage and died from his injuries, police said. Two of the remaining 31 people on board had moderate injuries and the rest had minor injuries, according to police.
Eight patients were transported to Porter Hospital in Middlebury and 24, including the truck driver, were taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Shari Owens, a spokeswoman for Rutland, said one person was admitted in good condition and the rest were treated and released by 2:30 a.m. Porter Hospital declined to comment on the conditions of its crash victims, citing privacy rules.
Police identified the tour bus company as Triple D Travel out of New Jersey and said the bus was headed north to Sugarbush and Stowe. Triple D Travel didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
Thomas Fay of Triple D Travel told WCAX-TV that Hannah saved lives.
"Based on varied accounts, his skilled bus operation prevented serious injury to many of his bus passengers as he faced a 53 foot tractor trailer blocking the entire roadway," Fay said.
Police said the trucking company was JP Logistics, and the tractor-trailer was hauling K-cup coffee products, and headed south on the highway.
The road as ice-covered at the time of the crash and police called the conditions a contributing factor.
West Haven is about 60 miles south of Burlington.
Darnell Hannah willingly steered his motor coach head-on as he knew, from over 35yrs of driving experience, it would be the least of damaging to his passengers. Vermont hospital, passengers, EMT's and state troopers call Darnell "a hero". He is the father to 11 children, 6 to which are adopted with special needs. Evelyn Hannah, his wife, has stayed home taking care of the children and will need to go back to work because of his missing income. We are all a family here and she and her family need our help. Please, anything you can do to help the family at this time would be greatly appreciated.