News

Authorities investigate if bus driver made illegal U-turn before deadly crash

Posted: Updated:
MOUNT OLIVE -

Officials in northern New Jersey have released few details about the cause of a deadly school bus crash in Mount Olive Thursday. But sources tell News 12 New Jersey that it is possible that the driver tried to make a U-turn on Interstate-80 using the cutout in the highway median.

The bus was one of three from East Brook Middle School in Paramus heading to Waterloo Village in Stanhope for a class field trip. It is believed that the driver may have missed the exit and tried to correct that mistake. The crash happened very close to Exit 25 when the bus collided with a dump truck.

RELATED: Teacher killed in deadly school bus crash identified
RELATED: Father of student in bus crash describes search for child

A teacher and a student were killed and over 40 others were injured.

News 12 New Jersey has confirmed that the 10-year-old girl who lost her life in the crash was Miranda Vargas. A GoFundMe campaign set up for her family had already exceeded its $20,000 goal by thousands of dollars Friday night. The teacher was Jennifer Williamson Kennedy.

Longtime accident investigator Donald Phillips with National Forensic Engineers is not involved in the accident investigation. But he tells News 12 New Jersey that he believes the theory of the illegal U-turn to be “preposterous.”

Phillips says that it is hard to imagine a school bus driver making such a dangerous maneuver. He also says that investigators still have a lot of information to put together to determine the cause of the crash.

Interview: NJ Statewide Traumatic Loss Coalition coordinator Maureen Brogan
RELATED: Parents rush to Paramus school following word of bus crash

Investigators will have to take data from the Engine Control Module on the dump truck. This will show at what speed the truck was traveling prior to the crash. It will also determine if the truck driver hit the brakes before impact. Investigators will also have to look at the chassis of the bus, to see if the damage is consistent with it being struck while making a U-turn.

The New Jersey State Police and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office are both investigating the crash.

  • NewsAuthorities investigate if bus driver made illegal U-turn before deadly crashMore>>

  • Horrific bus crash tests responders, equipment

    Horrific bus crash tests responders, equipment

    Friday, May 18 2018 10:12 PM EDT2018-05-19 02:12:46 GMT

    The horrific crash that killed two people and injured dozens of others on Thursday set off a massive emergency response that put first-responder training and equipment to the test.

    The horrific crash that killed two people and injured dozens of others on Thursday set off a massive emergency response that put first-responder training and equipment to the test.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • News

    Clifton police investigate possible child luring attempt

    Clifton police investigate possible child luring attempt

    Thursday, October 18 2018 7:40 PM EDT2018-10-18 23:40:07 GMT
    Police: Man attempted to lure young girl into van in CliftonPolice: Man attempted to lure young girl into van in Clifton

    Clifton police have issued a warning to the community after a possible attempted child luring incident.

    Clifton police have issued a warning to the community after a possible attempted child luring incident.

  • Forecast: Friday warm-up, temperatures in the 60s

    Forecast: Friday warm-up, temperatures in the 60s

    Freeze warnings, as well as frost advisories, were in effect Friday morning for most counties throughout New Jersey as temperatures began in the high-30s.

    Freeze warnings, as well as frost advisories, were in effect Friday morning for most counties throughout New Jersey as temperatures began in the high-30s.

  • NJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for women

    NJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for women

    Thursday, October 18 2018 9:47 PM EDT2018-10-19 01:47:27 GMT
    NJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for womenNJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for women
    NJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for womenNJ podiatrist invents stylish, comfortable shoes for women

    Many women say that when it comes to shoes, they often put style over comfort.

    Many women say that when it comes to shoes, they often put style over comfort.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:18:06 GMT
    Send us your Fall Fun Pics!Send us your Fall Fun Pics!

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

  • Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."