Band director and chaperone identified as two killed in New York marching band bus crash

The accident in upstate New York is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board

Andrea Blanco
Monday 25 September 2023 23:17 BST

Wawayanda bus crash latest

The two individuals killed in a New York charter bus crash on the way to a band camp have been identified.

The victims were band director Gina Pellettiere, 43, and 77-year-old retired history teacher Beatrice Ferrari, authorities said.

The bus was transporting students from Farmingdale High School in Long Island when it veered off Interstate 84. The vehicle rolled down a 50-foot ravine in the town of Wawayanda, about 45 miles northwest of New York City.

Ferrari, who had volunteered as a chaperone, was a pillar of the community, her son-in-law Daniel Aldieri told NBC News. She spent more than three decades teaching in the Farmingdale School District.

“She was a mom, a grandmother, my mother-in-law,” Mr Aldieri said. “She loved band camp. She must have gone for 30 years. This was a trip she looked forward to every year. To have her go this way, it’s so sad. We’re all devastated, the whole family.”

Pellettiere was remembered by friends as a devoted mother to her two-year-old-son and a talented musician who was always there for her students

“She made school fun. She made life entertaining, and she brought a lot of joy to a lot of people whether they were in the band or not,” former Farmingdale High School band member Christian Kalinowski also told NBC. “Anybody who wanted to play music, Gina was there. She was a resource and she was a mentor. She was a friend.”

Gina Pellettiere, 43, (left) and 77-year-old retired history teacher Beatrice Ferrari (77) were killed in a charter bus crash on Thursday

The bus that crashed was carrying 40 students and four adults to a band camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania, about a 30-minute drive from the accident site.

A total of 16 students and two adults were hospitalized on Friday.

State police said on Saturday that five passengers remained in critical condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash, seeking to prevent similar accidents, officials said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that tire failure may have been to blame, but the NTSB said it was premature to speculate.

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