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

    Superintendent ‘angry’ about reports driver in bus crash had violations

    Superintendent ‘angry’ about reports driver in bus crash had violations

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 5:59 PM EDT2018-05-23 21:59:23 GMT
    Records: Driver in deadly school bus crash had license suspended 14 timesRecords: Driver in deadly school bus crash had license suspended 14 times

    The Paramus Schools superintendent says that she is “shocked, saddened and angry” about news reports regarding the driving record of the school bus driver involved in last weekend’s deadly crash on Interstate 80.

    The Paramus Schools superintendent says that she is “shocked, saddened and angry” about news reports regarding the driving record of the school bus driver involved in last weekend’s deadly crash on Interstate 80.

  • News

    Forecast: Temps in the 60s overnight; Sunny and warm Thursday

    Forecast: Temps in the 60s overnight; Sunny and warm Thursday

    News 12 New Jersey WeatherNews 12 New Jersey Weather

    Wednesday’s overnight hours should see mostly clear skies with temperatures cooling slightly into the low-60s.

    Wednesday’s overnight hours should see mostly clear skies with temperatures cooling slightly into the low-60s.

  • Asbury Park named 2nd best beach in the United States

    Asbury Park named 2nd best beach in the United States

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:53:54 GMT
    Asbury Park named 2nd best beach in the United StatesAsbury Park named 2nd best beach in the United States

    A magazine has named Asbury Park as the second best place in the United States when it comes to going on a beach vacation.

    A magazine has named Asbury Park as the second best place in the United States when it comes to going on a beach vacation.

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."