Fatal Bus Crash on I-84 Involving High School Band Leaves 2 Dead, Dozens Injured

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney
bus crash

On September 21, 2023, a devastating bus crash occurred on Interstate 84 near Wawayanda, New York, leaving the Farmington community and the nation in shock and sorrow.

The bus, carrying members of the Farmingdale High School marching band known as the "Farmingdale Dalers," was en route to a band camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania, when it tragically tumbled down a 50-foot ravine.

Our deepest condolences go out to all affected by this horrific incident.

This tragic incident has not only shaken our community to its core but has also spotlighted urgent concerns regarding road safety and the need for legal clarity and protection.

I-84 Bus Crash Overview

Early this afternoon, a commercial bus traveling on I-84 veered veer off the highway, and rolled down an large embankment, coming to rest on its side amidst bushes and trees.

The bus was carrying 44 students and adults, including Gina Pellettiere, 43, the highly regarded and adored band director, and retired teacher Beatrice Ferrari, 77, both of whom lost their lives in this tragic accident.

The incident resulted in two fatalities and several serious injuries, with at least five people remaining in critical condition, and numerous others sustaining varying degrees of injuries.

Officials and eyewitnesses at the scene described the incident as chaotic and distressing:

"It was a horrifying sight, and everyone was in a state of shock," said one of the eyewitnesses.

Authorities are urging the public to remain patient as they continue their investigation and gather more information related to the crash.

This crash has raised significant concerns regarding road and public transport safety in New York, prompting discussions about the implementation of enhanced safety measures and protocols.

We join local officials and community leaders in expressing our condolences to the families of the victims and offer any assistance and resources we can provide during this challenging time.

Immediate Response and Community Support

Emergency responders were quick to the scene, utilizing ladders and ropes to reach the victims.

The injured were transported to multiple area hospitals, including Bon Secours, St. Anthony's, Westchester Medical Center, and Garnet Health.

The community and local organizations have rallied to support the victims and their families, offering condolences, assistance, and setting up a family reunification center at Orange County Community College.

Investigation and Reflections

While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, preliminary reports indicates that "a faulty front tire" may have been a contributing factor to this accident, but a thorough investigation is ongoing with a federal team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched to assist.

Raphaelson & Levine is closely monitoring the developments and are ready to offer legal guidance, assistance, and resources to the victims and their families.

"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy, and we are here to provide the support and legal counsel needed during this difficult time," Howard Raphaelson, partner

Speaking at a news conference after the indecent, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said it appeared likely "a faulty front tire contributed to the accident," though the cause of the wreck remains under investigation.

The bus involved is owned by Regency Transportation out of Nesconset on Long Island. The company, which has a satisfactory rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has eight vehicles and employs about 14 drivers.

The driver involved was properly licensed. The company's overall record will likely be scrutinized in the coming days as state troopers and federal investigators delve into the details of the vehicle's past.

We will continue to update this article with the latest developments, findings from the investigation, and any statements from officials or involved parties.

Advocacy for Enhanced Safety

The incident has amplified discussions about the state of road and public transport safety in New York and the pressing need for the implementation of robust safety measures and protocols.

This tragedy underscores the urgent need for reinforced road and public transport safety measures.

According to recent data from the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

School bus-related crashes killed 108 people nationwide in 2021, up 50% compared to the pandemic-related low number of 54 deaths in 2020

For over three decades, the New York bus accident lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine have been staunch advocates for safety measures and policy reforms, aiming to make the road across New York a safer place for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

We remain committed to our advocacy, striving to ensure that every journey is a safe one and that such heartbreaking tragedies are prevented in the future.

Seeking Justice for Bus Crash Victims

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy, and we are here to provide the support and legal counsel needed during this difficult time.

The aftermath of such a grave incident can be overwhelming, especially in the face of the complexities of New York laws.

If you or your loved ones are grappling with the repercussions of a crash, our New York bus accident lawyers are here to ensure your rights are protected and justice is served.

For over 30 years, our personal injury law firm has provided thousands of accident victims with a voice and hope for a better future.

Contact Us for Support

If you've been affected by a bus crash, our dedicated New York bus accident lawyers are here to protect your rights ensure that justice delivered.

To discuss your legal rights and next steps, please call 212-268-3222.

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, NY. With over thirty years of experience as a personal injury lawyer, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine).

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