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Hanover man dies, children injured in DC area bus crash - abc27 WHTM

Hanover man dies, children injured in DC area bus crash

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Joseph Clabaugh Joseph Clabaugh

A Hanover man was the driver of a tour bus that crashed on the Washington Beltway, injuring several of the 26 passengers that included children and adults from the Carlisle area.

Maryland state police say 66-year old Joseph Clabaugh, a driver for Wolf Bus Lines of York Springs, died at the scene of the Wednesday afternoon crash near Bethesda.

Some of Clabaugh's passengers were students at Saint Patrick School, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. Diocese spokesman Joe Aponick said he heard the students were not seriously injured.

"They just received cuts and bruises," Aponick said in a statement. "But we have not spoken to anyone directly. This is all second-hand information."

Their families said the students had the day off from school and had decided to go on a trip to the National Zoo with their parents and others.

"We are glad that they are okay and are doing very good, and thank God because it could have been a whole lot worse. They are okay," said Nick Farace, a grandfather of a Saint Patrick student who was on the bus.

Officials said 12 passengers were taken to area hospitals. Two had critical, life-threatening injuries and two others were critically hurt but should survive. The rest had minor injuries.

According to witnesses, Clabaugh appeared to have suffered some type of medical emergency and slumped over in his seat, causing the bus to go over the railing of an I-495 ramp and down a steep 40-foot embankment, narrowly avoiding the oncoming travel lanes of I-270 during the busy afternoon rush.

Fire and rescue personnel worked tirelessly to free at least four people trapped in the wreckage.

According to Clabaugh's Facebook page, he had worker for Wolf's since 1985 and loved his job, saying the bus line was "the best bus company in the world." He had also been a Hanover police officer for 32 years before retiring in 1999.

The bus company has not commented on the crash.

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