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Seizure Likely Led To Deadly I-270 Bus Crash

4:59 PM, Sep 30, 2010   |    comments
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NORTH BETHESDA, Md (WUSA) -- It's looking more and more like the bus driver in that terrible crash with school children Thursday suffered some kind of seizure or heart attack.

Maryland State Police say they will wait for an autopsy on the 66-year-old bus driver Joseph Clabaugh, Jr, who died as his bus rolled off the HOV sky ramp on I-270.
 
At least two of the youngsters on the bus say they're pretty sure what caused it.

"We heard, 'Bus driver, look out!' and then felt a smash," says Vincent Oliverio, age 12. "And then we were flipping and rolling down the trees and bushes off the hill."

Vincent and his 11-year-old brother Riley are back home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with just bumps and bruises from a horrible crash. Riley barely remembers rolling down the hill. But he remembers the moments leading up to it. "I looked over to the bus driver and he all of a sudden just slumped over the steering wheel. He slumped over? He slumped over like he was having a seizure or a heart attack."

Riley says one of the parents, Sally Currie, tried to grab the steering wheel. "She couldn't get to it because he was, the driver was laying across it. She couldn't handle it properly"

Riley remembers 7-year-old Emma Currie walking down the hill after the crash tossed her out of the bus window.

The kids are amazed more people weren't hurt. "I was really concentrating on protecting my stomach and my face from any damage," says Riley.

It's a school trip they'll never forget.

The Oliverio boys say it was just a freak accident, that they have lots of relatives in DC, and that there is no way the crash will keep them from coming back.

Written by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com

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