State police: Driver of Coach bus may have ‘lost directional control’ before fatal crash on New Jersey Turnpike


WOODBRIDGE – The driver of a double-decker Coach bus may have “lost directional control” before going off the road in the fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, according to a New Jersey State Police preliminary investigation.

Two passengers traveling on a double-decker Coach bus sustained fatal injuries, the driver and two passengers sustained serious injuries, 14 passengers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and four passengers sustained no injuries, according to police.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:53 p.m. Aug. 9, police said.

A Van Hool double-decker Coach bus, occupied by the driver and 22 passengers, was traveling southbound in the left lane of the outer roadway and a Ford F-150 was traveling in the left-center lane next to the bus, police said.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the bus driver “lost directional control” of the bus in the area of milepost 93.2 and struck the Ford. After the impact, the bus went off the road to the right, struck the guardrail, and overturned onto the Thomas Edison Service Area entrance ramp, police said.

Cheryl Johnson, 59, of Bronx, N.Y., sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. Cecilia Kiyanitza, 66, of Woodbury, was airlifted to an area hospital where she was later pronounced deceased, police said.

The driver of the bus is a 56-year-old male of Westville. No injuries were reported to the driver of the Ford, police said.

The victims were transported to the following area hospitals: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, and Staten Island University Hospital, N.Y.

The crash remains under investigation, police said.