About the Flight Collision
According to Reuters, the collision occurred 6 miles southeast of the Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport on Saturday.
A 72-year-old man piloted the Cessna 172, a single-engine plane, which was carrying a 14-year-old passenger, both of whom died when the plane crashed into a wooded area. The pilot of the second plane, a Searey amateur-built aircraft, was carrying a 9-year-old girl.
The Searey was able to land safely in a field in Alden, New York leaving the pilot and the girl unharmed from the accident. The Lancaster Police Department have not yet released the names of the two people killed but state it appears both of the pilots were attempting to fly to Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport when the collision occurred.
The planes were part of the Young Eagles program, which gives children hands-on experience with aviation, states Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the association. The program began in 1992 and has since then helped 1.9 million children fly on planes. The crash is the second fatal accident involving Young Eagles since the program opened.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the collision.
Plane Crash Statistics
Following information provided by the NTSB:
- 1,539 U.S. civil aviation accidents were recorded in 2012.
- 280 of the accidents were fatal resulting in the deaths of 447 people.
- The most common causes of aviation accidents are:
- Pilot error
- Mechanical failure
- Other human error
- Fatal crashes were most likely to occur during the cruise and takeoff phases of flight, followed by initial climb, climb (flaps up), final approach, initial approach, and landing. Accidents were least likely to occur during decent and taxiing.
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Details of the Oklahoma Bus Accident
According to the San Antonio Express-News, the accident happened Friday night, September 26, on Interstate 35 near Davis, Oklahoma.
The semi was driven by 53 year-old Russell Staley of Saginaw, Texas for Quickway Transportation of Nashville, Tennessee.
The bus was driven by the coach of the North Central Texas Softball team and had 15 passengers. The team was returning home to Gainesville, Texas after attending a scrimmage with Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.
Staley was driving northbound on I-35 when the road began to curve, but the vehicle kept driving straight. After about 820 feet, the truck was between lanes.
The bus was traveling southbound when it was hit by the semi on the driver’s side. The semi kept driving for about 300 feet before completely crossing the southbound lane and veering off the interstate into trees.
Many were injured and four players lost their lives. Meagan Richardson, age 19, Brooke Deckard, age 20, Katelynn Woodlee, age 18, and Jaiden Pelton, age 20, have been identified as the deceased.
Authorities Investigate Oklahoma Bus Crash
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is leading the ongoing investigation to determine whether the incident occurred due to a driver error or a vehicle error.
According to a report Staley gave, he was distracted by something in the semi during the crash. Authorities, however, are still uncertain of this.
Authorities have obtained a search warrant for both the bus and the semi. The semi’s brakes have been found to be working fine, but more in-depth investigations will be occurring, such as viewing the vehicles data recorder which could show if Staley attempted to brake.
Staley has yet to be charged with anything.
Quickway Transportation does maintain high safety standards for their employees, even more strict than the industry standard, and the CEO, William Prevost, did release a statement regarding the players’ deaths.
A prayer vigil was held on the North Central Texas College campus Sunday night.
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About the Tuberculosis Exposure
According to Reuters, the five babies are not considered to have active TB. The mass exposure to tuberculosis occurred when a diseased employee interacted with patients for months before later being diagnosed with the disease. Babies and employees in the hospital were exposed to the disease between September 2013 and August 2014 at Providence Memorial Hospital.
The El Paso Department of Public Health has also increased the total number of people who may be affected (from 706 babies and 43 employees to 858 people).
Health and hospital officials are working to contact the affected families and are planning to provide screening and follow-up care free of charge.
- Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially fatal disease that is treatable.
- The illness is spread through the air (when a person with an active case coughs, sneezes, or speaks).
- TB is not easy to catch from another person, but examinations are required to ensure a person has not been affected.
- The disease usually affects the lungs. It can lay dormant in a person’s body for months or years.
- Babies or those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk for catching the disease.
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