Pat Battle reports.
A bus heading from Brooklyn to Washington, D.C., slammed into a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike Wednesday, injuring about 17 people and snarling traffic for miles.
New Jersey State Police initially said that the bus driver had died, but later said he had been revived at the hospital and was in critical condition.
The driver was identified as Andy Lynch, 52, of Chesapeake, Va.
Two passengers were in serious condition and 14 others had minor injuries after the crash just before noon on the southbound side of the turnpike, just north of exit 8A in South Brunswick, N.J.
Most of the other injured passengers were treated and released from area hospitals.
Japheth Bruce said he was sitting about halfway down the aisle when the bus slammed into the truck, which hit its brakes suddenly to avoid hitting traffic ahead that had come to a halt.
"Our bus tried to slow down, but it was too late," Bruce said. "He was trying to turn off, but he ended up hitting the back of the truck."
The crash threw passengers from their seats and left some trapped inside, including the driver.
A spokesman for the American Bus Association, Dan Ronan, said Lynch has worked for the company since 2008 and has a clean driving record.
Police say the southbound bus was carrying a total of 53 people when it crashed. It is owned by DC Tours, a Virginia company that makes two trips per day between New York and Washington, D.C.
The company has performed well in recent inspections by federal regulators.
"When you look at this company's safety record compared with the industry, it is substantially better than most of the other bus companies that are out there," said Dan Ronan, President of the American Bus Association.
NJ State Police have yet to say whether there will be any traffic violations issued to the bus driver.
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