Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the student’s were traveling to Pine Forest Camp in Pike County.
EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A deadly bus accident happened while dozens of high school students and adults were on their way to a band camp in Pike County.
A press conference was held this evening in New York, confirming two deaths and a possible cause of the accident.
“What started out as an incredibly beautiful day in New York State. Unfortunately, the day ended in tragedy,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
44 students and adults from Farmingdale High School in New York boarded a charter bus Thursday headed to Pine Forest Camp in Pike County for a band trip.
Their trip to the Poconos was tragically cut short so far leaving two dead and several critically injured as stated in a press conference held later that evening.
“No one could have foreseen what these 40 students and four adults would have experienced, but certainly there are families grieving today,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
New York State Police responded to the crash on Interstate 84 Westbound just after 1:00 p.m. and said the bus had tumbled down a 50-foot ravine.
“Imagine the fear. The screams. And the aftermath,” Governor Hochul said.
Within 45 minutes, many on the bus were brought to safety.
New York State Police announced 43-year-old Gina Pellettiere and 77-year-old Beatrice Ferrari did not survive the crash and five students remain in critical condition.
The accident is under investigation but the police say they have a lead on what could have caused it.
“At this time, preliminary information indicates a failure of a front tire may have been a contributing factor to this accident,” said New York State Police Lieutenant Richard Mazzone.
As many Farmingdale students remain in various New York hospitals, the state has come together as they hope for their safe return.
“There’s a lot of families that need some love tonight, and we extend that from 20 million New Yorkers,” said Governor Hochul.
“The only advice I could give to anybody tonight is hug your children very tight. Life is very precious,” said Blakeman.
As mentioned, it is believed at this time that a faulty front tire contributed to the accident, but the cause is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the New York State Police.