New Jersey bus crash leaves two people dead and 17 injured
Two people have been killed and 17 others are injured after two buses collided in New Jersey.
Authorities say one New Jersey Transit bus carrying only the driver slammed into another at about 6am on Friday in Newark. The driver of the bus with no passengers died.
A spokeswoman for the Essex County prosecutor's office says the second victim is a woman but no other information was immediately available.
Investigators are trying to determine if the driver who died went through a red light.
The junction where the crash occurred was the first in the state to have a surveillance camera to catch drivers running red lights. The surveillance programme was discontinued in 2014.
"We're praying for all of those in the hospital," Mayor Ras Baraka said.
Jennifer Petrain was opening up a Starbucks about 100 yards from where the accident occurred.
She said she heard a crash "like an explosion" and ran outside. She said she and a co-worker brought ice water, rags and a first-aid kit.
"We were there before anybody was on the scene," Petrain said. "It was terrible. We saw people with head injuries, leg injuries."
The red light camera programme ultimately expanded to about two dozen towns and cities in New Jersey before it was discontinued in 2014 amid controversy and lawsuits.
Officials in Newark and other towns claimed the red light cameras reduced accidents. Critics said the cameras were mainly used to rake in cash for cities and towns.
The force of Friday's crash left the westbound bus embedded in the side of a northbound bus, which had come to rest on a traffic median tipped at a 30-degree angle.
Firefighters could be seen pulling passengers through a side window and loading them onto waiting stretchers and into ambulances.
The crash occurred as the bus without passengers began its route between Newark and Dunellen; the other bus was traveling between Irvington and Clifton, NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.
The Essex County prosecutor is investigating the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was not involved in the investigation.