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Local Students in Boston Tour Bus Crash Return Home

Students from around Lower Bucks County were in a violent charter bus accident as they headed home over the weekend. A Neshaminy student is in serious condition.

Margaret Ireland waited on the snowswept corner of Radcliffe Street and Mill Street in Bristol Borough with about 10 other parents and relatives of the teenage victims of Saturday’s charter bus crash in Boston.

“I’m just relieved they’re back,” the mother said. “I’ve been sleepless since I found out.”

The group waited across the street from the office of the Destined for a Dream Foundation which sponsored the bus trip to New England.

Shortly after midnight, a large yellow charter bus arrived and roughly 10 high school-aged students and some adults stepped off the bus and quickly rushed into the nonprofit’s office, where they reunited with family and then left to return home.

Ireland saw her 14-year-old son and daughter. Both were relatively unscathed in the bus collision, she said.

Of the 42 bus passengers, 36 people were injured, including three with serious injuries and one with a life-threatening injury. Only four people were not transported to the hospital, authorities said.

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Little information was officially released on the hometowns and high schools of the students.

According to various members of the community and family members of the victims, students from Bucks County Technical, Bristol Borough, Neshaminy, Pennsbury and Truman high schools were aboard the bus.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Neshaminy High School sophomore and athlete Matt Cruz was among the seriously injured, citing information from friends.

Pennsbury district spokeswoman Ann Langtry said the trip was not district-sponsored.

Officials from Bristol Borough, Bristol Township and Neshaminy school districts were not available for comment on Sunday.

The bus was operated by Calvary Coach out of Philadelphia and was chartered by the Destined for a Dream Foundation. The nonprofit describes itself as helping "inspire and empower youth and young adults through life coaching."

The group was in the Boston area to explore Harvard University. The trip also included shopping and sightseeing.

Rescue efforts to free the trapped passengers began immediately after the 7:34 p.m. crash. Using the jaws of life and backboards, firefighters removed the passengers through the top of the bus. The last victim was freed at 9 p.m.

Emergency workers, police and others spent the rest of the night clearing the road and investigating the accident. The bus was not able to be hoisted over the guardrail as originally planned, resulting in the removal of a section of guardrail which is being repaired today. Workers cleared the scene at 7:15 a.m. Sunday.

The Red Cross and Boston EMS assisted in helping the uninjured and those with minor injuries find shelter Saturday night.

“We will have teams at Boston Medical Center and at Massachusetts General Hospital to assist those families,” Eastern Massachusetts Red Cross spokesperson Kat Powers said. “We will also have a disaster mental health team for those affected by this crash - both the passengers and their families.”

Police in Massachusetts have identified the bus driver as 66-year-old Philadelphia resident Samuel J. Jackson. He was uninjured.

Jackson hit the concrete and metal bridge after looking down at his GPS, an Associated Press story said.

The driver could be facing charges related to the crash, Massachusetts State Police said. Officials said the bus driver is believed to have missed signs prohibiting vehicle from the road.

As part of the investigation, state police and others interviewed more than 20 victims in the overnight hours.

The crash resulted in only cosmetic damage to the bridge, with no structural or safety concerns identified.

On Sunday, a

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