Police check video footage from deadly bus-train crash at Evans City crossing
Police are reviewing video footage from a bus-train crash at an Evans City rail crossing that killed two elderly passengers, Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said on Tuesday.
John Burkett, 88, of Zelienople died Saturday in the VNA Inpatient Hospice in Butler, investigators said. His family declined comment.
Another passenger, Claudette Miller, 91, of Callery died on April 26, the day of the crash, in Allegheny General Hospital. The eight other passengers suffered injuries. One is still recovering, investigators said.
Two video cameras in the Butler Area Rural Transit bus captured what happened, giving interior and exterior views of the bus, Goldinger said.
Goldinger would not say what the footage shows, except that the exterior view shows what driver Frank Schaffner saw looking straight ahead from the driver's seat.
Train crew members told investigators the BART bus was stopped on the tracks of the fog-shrouded Maple Avenue crossing at 8:10 a.m.
Schaffner's attorney, Michael Pawk, has said that Schaffner said he stopped at the edge of the crossing and the train struck the bus as he began to drive across the tracks. Investigators said the train was traveling the 25 mph speed limit.
Evans City police are awaiting toxicology reports for Schaffner, who has not spoken to investigators, before deciding whether to file any charges, Goldinger said.
“We don't know if this is a criminal matter or not,” Goldinger said.
Evans City police Chief Joseph McCombs did not return phone messages.
In a search warrant, police said Schaffner carried pills in two medication bottles. Pawk said they were fiber and antacid tablets.
Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Rob Kulat said his agency would review data from an event recorder on the train. Investigations of such crashes can take up to a year, he said.
Burkett was a former employee of Mine Safety Appliances and owned and operated a family milk-hauling business. His funeral was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cranberry woman robbed at gunpoint at apartment complex
- Butler man’s death ruled an accident
- Families still flock to Big Butler Fair
- Part-time dispatchers hired to handle Butler police calls
- Fate of Zelienople senior center still murky
- PennDOT considers new option for Ball’s Bend
- Butler County officials apply for grant to combat overdoses
- Mysterious coin donor again helps cover cost of Zelienople fireworks