|One of the passengers who had been pinned in a bus that had flipped over is removed on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance in Wayne, New Jersey on Saturday Oct. 6, 2012. Up to eight people travelling from Toronto were taken to hospital in critical condition from the accident. (Amy Newman/NJ Record/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - A Toronto mom of two is among three Adventist church members remaining in hospital in the U.S. following a horrific bus crash in New Jersey.
The woman, whose name hasn’t been released, was among the more than 20 members of Grenada Toronto Community Network (GTCN), who were travelling to Brooklyn, when the crash occurred. The mishap initially sent 23 people to hospital.
“She (the mom) suffered some of the more serious injuries,” GTCN president Joseph Mitchell said Sunday. “Her condition has since been upgraded to fair.”
Mitchell said the woman is actively invloved in the Grenadian community and a long-time member of the Toronto Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, that had 12 members on the bus.
He said a teenage girl was also injured after passengers fell on top of her when the bus rolled.
Adventists from New York City on Sunday were at the New Jersey bedside of the three still in hospital to console and pray for them, worshippers said.
“I saw one lady from Toronto and her arm was bandaged and she was limping around,” said Maureen Isaac, of the Grenada New York Adventist Organization. “She and the others are in shock but doing fine.”
The wounded were among 100 passengers in two buses who were travelling from Toronto to Brooklyn on Saturday. Most were attending a 2012 Grenada New York Adventist Organization convention at Wingate High School.
“Some of the people in the bus crash made it to the convention,” Isaac said. “I saw a couple of them limping around.”
Organization president Crafton Calliste said the crash cast a shadow on the convention.
“It was a strain on us because we were constantly thinking about them and the unfortunate situation that happened to them,” Calliste said.
The buses will be returning to Toronto on Monday, officials said.
The bus, from Max 2000 Charter Services, on Finch Ave. E., flipped onto its side and slid down an embankment at an Interstate exit ramp in Wayne, N.J., about 25 kilometres northwest of New York City.
Maria Meyers, Toronto president of Spice Isle Association and Grenada Day Association, said a woman she knows on the bus is traumatized but unhurt from the crash.
“She is in pain and in a state of shock,” Meyers said on Sunday. “She is strong and seems to be pulling through this.”
Meyers said community members regularly charter buses for shopping trips to the U.S.
The bus driver, who has been identified as Neville Larmond, of Brampton, told authorities that he veered off the highway after he was cut off by another vehicle, but officers have not confirmed the cause of the crash.