In Saddlebrook, NJ on Tuesday night the Ministerio Bethel International
Pentecoastal Church van from the Spring Valley, NY branch was headed to
their main church in Newark, NJ for bible study when it collided with
a NJ Transit bus.
The church van was overloaded with 23 passengers. The two vehicles were
headed south on the Garden State Parkway and exiting at 159 which is a
two-lane exit. The van attempted to merge into the left lane when it crashed
into the bus causing the van to rotate and roll over.
The accident claimed the life of Velma Castro,39, of Spring Valley, NY.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Four of the other parishioners were seriously injured and taken to St.
Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, NJ.and the less seriously hurt were
taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, according to the police.
The bus was on it's way back to Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan
and was not carrying any passengers. The driver of the bus, however, suffered
neck and back injuries.
It is being investigated whether or not the fact that the bus was over
capacity was a factor in causing the accident.
See our article for more information on Commercial Vehicle Laws.
At Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor, P.C. we routinely handle Commercial
Vehicle law suits. Joseph O'Connor is a member of Association of Plaintiff
Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America National Advisory Board.