A 91-year-old woman was killed in Pennsylvania this morning when the small bus she was riding in was stuck by a freight train. According to the train’s engineer, the bus had been stopped in the crossing with what appeared to be no intention of moving. The train had no way to avoid hitting it, and it crashed into it and “threw it several feet” according to the police chief on the scene.
The bus was carrying several people between the ages of 26 and 92. Many were badly injured as a result of the collision. Injuries to the face, chest, brain, legs, etc. were being treated at Allegheny General hospital. The elderly woman who was killed was 91-year-old Claudette Lee Miller. The bus was apparently on its way to a few places, including Butler County Area Agency on Aging and the Arc of Butler County. The driver was 60-year-old Frank Schaffner. He was treated at a local hospital and released; however police took a blood sample for testing. It is unclear as to why Schaffner stopped the bus in the railroad crossing.
It is important to exercise extreme caution when driving across or around train tracks. Slow down before crossing tracks and look both ways as if you were crossing the street. Listen for trains too. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Never stop on train tracks, and if you must, get out of your car immediately and call local authorities.