New York City, NY

57 People Hospitalized After New York Tour Bus Travelling to Niagara Falls Crashes and Topples Over

Synthia Stark
Overturned tour bus with missing windshield atop the grass.New York State Police/Twitter

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, in central New York state, all 57 people on a tour bus heading for Niagara Falls sustained injuries after a nasty crash. The injuries ranged from minor all the way to serious. As the state police reported, the event did not seem to involve any other vehicles or people.

Hospitals Took Them In Quickly

It is known that at least 25 of the patients were taken to the Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, and 27 patients were taken to Auburn Community Hospital in Auburn, New York. Three people from Auburn Community Hospital were transferred to Upstate University Hospital.

See below for a map of Auburn Community Hospital (and further below for the other hospital):

The Concerns

Upstate University Hospital is known to be a top-tier trauma center, which means that some people were seriously injured. The bus driver, Fermin P. Vasquez, 66, of Wingdale, New York, was also taken to Auburn Community Hospital.

Here is a map of Upstate University Hospital:

The Name of the Tour Bus Company

The bus, operated by JTR Transportation, was headed to Niagara Falls from the initial city base of Poughkeepsie, New York. As the Associated Press reported, the bus was in the Fishkill area, which is a part of New York's Hudson Valley.

What Happened

It seems that the tour bus ran off the New York State Thruway and rolled over into central New York. The bus ended up landing on its side in the grass at roughly 12:40 PM on Saturday, August 14.

This would have been along the highway's westbound side that is near Weedsport, New York. Weedsport is a village roughly 25 miles from Syracuse.

Temporary Lane Closure and Confusion

One westbound lane was closed until early evening on Saturday, August 14, causing traffic at some point to be backed up in one direction for approximately 8 miles or so. The New York State Police are unsure as to why the bus had even veered off the road in the first place.

Social Media Footage From State Police

As mentioned earlier, all passengers and the driver were injured. You can see the photos from the social media post created by the state police:

As you can see, while the cause is unknown, the pictures show an overturned bus with a missing windshield and have many dents on the roof and passenger sides. There is plenty of debris and garbage scattered around the vehicle.

Investigation Pending

Currently, the state police are still investigating the situation so they have yet to report on the cause of the crash. They are still seeking witnesses. For anyone who may have witnessed the crash, contact Investigator Brad Holcomb, SP Waterloo, at 315-539-3530.

Alternatively, if you wanted to submit a confidential crime tip, there is a form on the official state police website that you can fill out, and you can find it through this link.

A Satisfactory Carrier Safety Rating

It seems that the JTR Transportation company has a "satisfactory" carrier safety rating, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is in charge of improving the safety of all commercial motor vehicles and has many resources that help enforce safety guidelines.

Final Thoughts

In this specific case, there were reportedly some families, children, and seniors aboard. It's great that everyone managed to get to the hospital quickly, however, we will have to wait and see and hope for the best.

For now, let's just keep ourselves diligent and safe, especially as we try to enjoy what is left of the summer. The people of New York State deserve transparency and safety, especially when considering end-of-the-summer travel plans.

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