The accident happened just after 5:35 am local time
along the southbound side of the New England Thruway located near Westchester County.
According to ABC News
, the bus—which belonged to World Wide Tours, a ground transportation company based in Brooklyn—was heading southbound along I-95 from the Mohegan Sun Casino located in Connecticut when it flipped on its side and skidded down the interstate, hitting a guardrail which nearly split the bus in half, before coming to a complete stop.
Of the remaining 32 passengers, six were critically injured. The remaining passengers
sustained moderate and minor injuries as a result of the crash. All of the injured passengers have been taken to St. Barnabas and Jacobi hospitals for treatment.
As of this posting time, southbound traffic between exits 14 and 15 along I-95 have been stopped as police officials investigate the cause of the crash.
UPDATE: According to the latest development provided by Reuters
, the death toll count has now reached 14 after one of the critically injured passengers died at the hospital.
The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) are now looking at the possibility that the tour bus overturned as a result from a hit-and-run accident involving a tractor trailer. According to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, "it appeared the bus driver swerved on the road to escape a tractor trailer driver on the highway although it was not clear if both vehicles made contact."
Police are currently searching for the driver of the tractor trailer who witnesses say did not stop following the accident for questioning.
Meanwhile, World Wide Tours
has released a statement in their website expressing their sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims as well as offering their full cooperation with the ongoing investigation.
"We are cooperating fully with investigators in trying to determine the exact sequence of events," the statement said. "We are a family-owned company and realize words cannot begin to express our sorrow to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in this tragic accident."
More information will be provided as this story develops.