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09 April 2018
New York State Police provide update on investigation into bus crash on Southern State Parkway

Major David C. Candelaria
Troop L Commander


New York State Police provide update on investigation into bus crash on Southern State Parkway
On Sunday April 8, 2018, at approximately 9:08 p.m., the New York State Police responded to a one-car motor vehicle collision involving a 2000 Prevost coach bus eastbound on the Southern State Parkway at the exit 18 overpass, Eagle Avenue in the town of Hempstead. 
The investigation into Sunday’s crash is ongoing.
The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Collision Reconstruction Unit and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit were on scene overnight working to reconstruct the crash and determine causation. State Police will also conduct a comprehensive vehicle examination to rule out any mechanical issues.
The roadway was fully opened and crews cleared the scene by 7:00 a.m. Monday, April 9.
The bus, owned by Journey Bus Line, was traveling from John F. Kennedy International Airport, to the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington, Suffolk County. 
There were 44 occupants on the bus including the driver, 38 students ranging from 16-18 years of age and five adult chaperones.  The students and chaperones were returning from a trip to eastern Europe.
The driver and the 43 passengers on board were taken to several area hospitals. 
Two of the injuries were serious. Both victims are 17-year-old females who remain in the hospital. The remainder of the injured were treated and released.
Below is a list of passengers on the bus at the time of the crash:
Hannah Bailin, 17, of Huntington Station
Matthew Baker, 17, of Huntington Station
Christian Bellissimo, 16, of Huntington
Reid Bellistri, 17, of Huntington
Kerri Lynn Benejan, 41, of Islandia
Lauren Berg, 16, of Huntington
Erin Bonitz, 17, of Huntington
Christina Brillante, 17, of Huntington
Erik Bruckbauer, 41, of Smithtown
Henry Cartwright, 17, of Huntington
Katerinne Coto, 18, of Huntington Station
Anna Crockett, 17, of Huntington
Peter Crugnale, 52, of Nesconset
James Crugnale, 16, of Nesconset
Christopher Diaz, 17, of Huntington Station
Georgia English, 17, Huntington
Cameron Fehrs, 17, of Huntington
Sara Frawley, 17, of Huntington
Hailey Gallagher, 18, of Mastic
Paul Katigbak, 16, of Huntington Station
Sophia Lacentra, 17, of Halesite
Paige Lennon, 17, of Huntington
Sophia Martinez, 18, of Huntington
Jerry Mata, 17, of Huntington Station
Cameron Mills, 16, of Huntington
Samantha Maixner, 17, of Huntington Station
Ryan Rivera, 18, of Huntington
Morgan Oh, 18, of Halesite
Thomas Peer, 17, of Huntington
Cailan Polishook, 17, of Halesite
Matthew Quinn, 16, of Huntington
Samantha Sgrizzi, 17, of Huntington
Alyssa Sorensen, 16, of Huntington Station
Dominick Stanley, 16, of Huntington
Charles Sze, 17, of Halesite
Camille Tedeschi, 37, of Huntington Station
Lianna Dechiaro, 17, of Huntington
Max Gordon, 17, of Huntington Bay
Amelia Maggio, 18, of Halesite
Sylvia Belanger, 53, of Huntington Station
Mia Breitbarth, 16, of Huntington
Arashdeep Singh, 17, of Huntington Station
Adriana Scrpati, 16, of Huntington
The initial investigation revealed the operator of the bus Troy D. Gaston, age 43, of Bethlehem, PA, did possess a valid Pennsylvania commercial vehicle Driver’s License.
Gaston was evaluated by a State Police Drug Recognition Expert for signs of alcohol and/or drug use.  Gaston registered a blood alcohol content of .00 and the drug evaluation is pending. Gaston did voluntarily provide a blood sample.
The initial investigation also revealed Gaston was utilizing a non-commercial vehicle GPS device.  The driver’s planned GPS route was via the Belt and Southern State Parkway.  State Police still need to verify the actual route through a forensic analysis of the device and passenger interviews.
Gaston was cooperative at the scene, and investigators are speaking with the bus company who operated the charter.
The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and this investigation does not meet their response criteria.  They are monitoring the case.
The State Police would like to thank the multiple first responding agencies at the scene, led by the Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department and the Nassau County Police Ambulance Bureau, as well as the Nassau County Police Emergency Services Unit.
The New York State Police are asking anyone who witnessed the collision to please contact 631-756-3300.

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