Courtesy WBAL-TV
Courtesy WBAL-TV

A school bus crashed into a Ford Mustang and an oncoming MTA commuter bus this morning in Southwest Baltimore, killing six people and injuring 10.

The collision happened on the 3800 block of Frederick Avenue, situated in the Irvington neighborhood between New Cathedral Cemetery and National Cemetery Loudon Park.

In a briefing, Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said police responded to the crash around 7 a.m. The school bus was traveling eastbound when it hit a Ford Mustang, continued and hit a pillar at the Loudon Park Cemetery and then went into oncoming traffic. There, the school bus hit the driver’s side of the MTA bus “and basically ripped the entire driver’s side off of the vehicle,” according to Smith. “It literally looks like a bomb exploded on the bus.”

The drivers of both buses and four passengers on the MTA bus died in the accident. The driver of the Mustang, an aide on the school bus and eight others on the commuter bus were hospitalized. Smith said at an afternoon press conference that the aide and the Mustang driver suffered minor injuries and are expected to be OK.

Among the 10 injured there were six women, ages 23, 25, 29, 32, 38 and 44, with minor injuries, and two men, ages 36 and 52, with minor injuries. Two other victims, a 29-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man, are still listed in critical condition.

“Obviously, folks who are on a bus at this time of the morning are working folks,” said Police Commissioner Kevin Davis at the morning briefing. “They’re on their way to make a living, to their jobs and they’re on their way to support their families. Our hearts and prayers go out to them, to their families and their co-workers as well.”

Police aren’t sure whether speed was a factor in the crash, but Smith said there weren’t skid marks, indicating that there was no slowing down and that “something catastrophic” had occurred.

The school bus was operated by AA Affordable Transportation, a company contracted to pick up students by Baltimore City Schools.

Pictures from reporters at the scene showed the bashed-in Ford Mustang found nearby.

At Frederick & Monastery where we are working on details about this car’s involvement in School bus & MTA bus crash. Details on #WBAL

— Megan Pringle (@MeganBPringle) November 1, 2016

If there is any silver lining for such a tragic event, it’s that there were no children on the school bus when the horrific crash occurred.

Police are still working to positively identify the victims who were killed, but Smith said they are a 51-year-old man, a 46-year-old woman, the 33-year-old female bus driver, the 56-year-old male school bus driver, a 51-year-old woman and an unidentified 32-year-old.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen the violent crash to contact their CRASH team.

The terrible event made national headlines and drew attention from officials. Gov. Hogan issued a statement saying he and his wife were “deeply saddened” by the news of the crash. “Our deepest condolences go out to the victims and their families in the wake of this tragedy,” he said. “We will continue to pray for those who were injured, as well as the first responders who worked swiftly and continue to care for the injured.”

He added that his office is prepared to offer any any assistance to Baltimore police as they investigate. The National Transportation Safety Board has also sent investigators to work with police, MTA and the Maryland Transportation Safety Office in their investigation of the crash.

At an afternoon press conference, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expressed her condolences to all those affected by the crash and noted that in a small town like Baltimore, such a violent accident affects everyone.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...