2 killed when Megabus overturns on New Jersey Turnpike outside service plaza

Police say there were 22 passengers plus the driver on board when it crashed

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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The investigation continues into a bus crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge that left two people dead and three others injured. Sonia Rincon has the story.

WOODBRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- The investigation continues into a Megabus crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge that left two people dead and several others injured.

Authorities say the crash, involving a Van Hool double-decker coach bus, happened just before 7 p.m. Tuesday on the New Jersey Turnpike at the Thomas Edison service area entrance ramp from the outer roadway.

Police say there were 22 passengers and a driver on the bus that was heading southbound from New York to Philadelphia.

Police say the bus struck a Ford F-150 pickup truck, causing the bus to overturn on the entrance ramp to the service area.

Eyewitness News spoke to one of the survivors, who is still shaken.

"There was enough time to register what was about to happen, which was terrifying," passenger Reid Kleinman said.

Kleinman was on the bus and felt the moment it collided with the Ford pickup.

"We heard kind of a pop explosion type thing like a small one and the bus started rattling and shaking and it started to veer to the right and across a couple lanes of traffic, hit a barricade, crashed and flipped over," Kleinman said.

Two people were killed and three others were seriously injured, including the driver. They were all taken to nearby hospitals.

Fourteen passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and four passengers were not hurt.

The victims were identified as 59-year-old Cheryl Johnson, from the Bronx, and Cecilia Kiyanitza, 66, of Woodbury, New Jersey.

The driver of the bus, a 56-year-old man from Westville, New Jersey, was seriously injured.

Kleinman remembers what it looked like inside. He said everyone was out of it and one kid was hanging by their seatbelt. He said there was broken glass and smoke everywhere.

"Went to see the bus driver who was pretty much unconscious," Kleinman said. "Woke him up and tried to get him out but his leg was stuck and broken under the wheel or something."

No injuries were reported to the driver of the Ford.

Based on the preliminary investigation, police say the bus driver lost directional control of the bus and struck the Ford. After the impact, the bus went off the road to the right, struck the guardrail, and overturned onto the entrance ramp.

Kleinman said he's grateful to be ok, and grateful to the strangers who rushed over at the crash scene.

"It's a real tribute to humanity how people are just willing to stop and help," Kleinman said. "People with cases of water, making sure everyone was ok. Incredible."

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