2nd bus driver in crash released from hospital

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Saturday, August 20, 2016
2nd person dies after NJ transit buses collide in Newark
Rob Nelson and Mallory Hoff have the details.

NEWARK, New Jersey -- The driver of a second bus involved in a crash in downtown Newark that killed another driver and a passenger has been released from the hospital. The passenger also has been identified.

Interim New Jersey Transit Executive Director Dennis Martin said James Roberts is a 35-year veteran of the agency. He had neck, back and shoulder injuries.

Roberts was driving a bus carrying several people in downtown Newark early Friday when the vehicle collided with another bus, heading west at the beginning of its route and carrying no passengers.

The driver of the westbound bus, 27-year NJ Transit veteran Joseph Barthelus, was killed along with a female passenger on the other bus. The victim was identified Saturday as Jesy Garcia, 49, of Newark. She was transported to University Hospital after the crash and pronounced dead several hours later.

At a Friday afternoon news conference, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said University Hospital reported one person in critical condition, five in serious condition, four in fair condition and four in good condition

The wreck happened, likely at high speed, around 6 a.m. Friday at North Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard. One of the vehicles was broken nearly in half.

Baraka said the buses involved were a Route 59 bus and a Route 13 bus, which had 17 passengers and Roberts on board. The Route 59 bus was empty, except for Barthelus.

Many passengers were entangled in twisted metal seats covered in shards of glass as the force of the crash tipped the occupied bus at a 30-degree angle as it came to rest on a median. Some were trapped and needed to be rescued, and firefighters could be seen pulling passengers through a side window and loading them onto waiting stretchers and into ambulances.

Baraka said the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Victims were taken to University Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Michael's Hospital and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office will investigate the crash.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call (877) 847-7432.