Allentown, PA Chartered Bus Accident, Aug 1970


Allentown, Pa. (UPI) -- Thirty-nine elderly persons were injured Sunday when a chartered bus ran off a wet road enroute to a religious shrine and crashed.
The bus owned by the East Penn Transportation Co., Pottsville, was carrying members of the Polish Women's Alliance of America from Shenandoah on an annual feast day pilgrimage to the national shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown.
The head of the Vatican postolic delegation to the United States, the Most Rev. Luigi Raimondi, celebrated the Mass at the shrine.
Six women were admitted to Osteopathic Hospital here in satisfactory condition. The others, including bus driver JAMES VIALEK of Mahanoy City, were released.
The bus crashed on a narrow two-lane stretch of U.S. 309 where it cuts through a hill two miles north of the U.S. 22 interchange. It was on U.S. 22, also designated I-78, about 10 miles west of here that a chartered bus crashed last July 15, killing seven Long Island children from a private school on a tour of the Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Patrolman Donald MacConnell of the South Whitehall Township police said the bus driver told him the southbound bus skidded on the wet highway and began to fishtail and "then he really lost it" as the bus entered a gap between rocks on the side of the road.
"The bus struck the rock embankment on its side six feet from the road and then spun across the highway and struck the other embankment," MacConnell said.
The front end of the bus was pushed in and pieces of metal sheeting were torn away.
Police and rescue squads arrived to help the injured from the bus. Most of them were taken to hospitals in police cars.
The bus was towed to a nearby service station to await a safety investigation.

Bedford Gazette Pennsylvania 1970-08-24