An investigation is underway after a bus carrying Brandeis University students crashed into a tree late Saturday night less than a mile from the college campus in Waltham, Massachusetts, killing one person and injuring 27 others.
The Brandeis-contracted shuttle was returning to campus after a hockey game at Northeastern University when it crashed into a tree on South Street shortly after 10:30 p.m.
In a statement released Sunday morning, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said 27 students were on the bus and one student was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and 26 other students on the bus were taken to nearby hospitals.
Latest update on who was on the bus
Authorities did not release the identity of anyone on the bus or any details about the bus driver.
In a public statement Sunday morning, Brandeis University said the institution was working with local hospitals and the Waltham Police Department to identify injured students as well as the deceased student.
“Given the number of injured and the various hospitals they were transported to, it takes time to determine the status of everyone involved, including the passengers who are Brandeis students,” the statement said.
According to the university, 17 people have been discharged from the hospital while 11 remain hospitalized.
“Please also understand that due to privacy concerns, the university will not be releasing a list of those injured,” the statement read.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.
Crews worked through the night clearing the debris and were seen towing the mutilated bus early Sunday morning.
Brandeis Community Mourns Loss of Student
Students, faculty and staff have been informed of what happened. Julie Jette, assistant vice president of communications at Brandeis University, noted that the university is providing guidance and support and will continue to do so in the coming days.
“The Brandeis Counseling Center is a highly valued institution,” Draken Garfinkel, a senior at Brandeis University, told NBC10 Boston. “I just hope a lot of people who are feeling grief know where to turn rather than internalizing things and dealing with their pain in less than optimal ways.”
Garfinkel says he rides the shuttle regularly but is shaken by the incident.
“Weekends are a much more convenient option, right now I think I’ll be a lot more hesitant to take the shuttle,” he said.
PHOTOS: Massive response to fatal bus crash in Waltham
What happened: timeline of events
When a team from NBC10 Boston first arrived on the scene Saturday night, Weston Fire Chief Justin Woodside said at least a dozen people were injured when the large bus carrying an unknown number of passengers crashed. Woodside also initially reported that the bus rolled over several times, but officials said Sunday morning that preliminary investigation suggested the bus hit a tree.
Video from the scene showed a badly damaged bus next to a pole in a residential area, with debris littering the roadway and several first responders and firefighters from Waltham, Weston and Newton working at the scene. It appears that the front of the bus, which appeared to have the most damage, collided with a tree.
The bus came to a stop right next to the sign for the Watermill Center, a six-story office building on South Street.
Several passengers were seen being carried away on stretchers and crowds of people had gathered just outside the yellow police tape blocking the active scene.
A spokesperson for Brandeis University released a statement hours after the crash, saying school officials were told the remaining 26 students and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals. . There was no immediate update on the extent of the injuries. Without giving further details, the prosecutor’s office said they suffered injuries “in varying degrees”.
What the witnesses saw
“I was inside and I heard a big crash and a bang, and at first I wasn’t alarmed because there are big trucks going by a lot but then I heard breaking glass and so I came out and saw all the trucks… people on the side of the road who were obviously very hurt,” said Meghan Jacobs, who just moved into the house across the street. two weeks ago.
“There was a lot of blood and people were obviously very hurt,” she added. “It’s very shocking, very shocking…it obviously wasn’t planned. It’s awful, and I’m just praying for everyone.”
Jacobs said he looked like a group of college students on the bus. Brandeis University is located in Waltham, just half a mile from where the bus crashed.
“It’s pretty awful, I feel terrible,” she added.
An investigation is underway. Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information is asked to contact the Waltham Police Department at 781-314-3600.
The bus is owned by Joseph’s Transportation, of Medford, Massachusetts. NBC10 Boston reached out to the shipping company for comment, but did not hear back.