NEWS

Toronto church members in U.S. bus crash thankful to be home

10/09/2012 09:23 EDT | Updated 12/09/2012 05:12 EST
Members of a Toronto church group whose bus overturned on a New Jersey highway Saturday were happy to be back home safe on Monday night.

The church members were among 57 passenger on the tour bus, which rolled over on an exit ramp off Interstate 80 in Wayne, N.J. Twenty-three people received minor injuries.

The bus, which was chartered by a Toronto-based Seventh Day Adventist church group travelling to a convention in Brooklyn, N.Y., slid down an embankment, and landed on its side.

Some of the passengers had to be pulled from the bus. One person remains in hospital.

CBC’s Ivy Cuervo spoke to passengers moments after they returned to Toronto. They said they were happy no one was seriously injured.

"I am quite happy to be back home,” Judith Brooke said. “God is good. He kept us safe. We have some scratches, but we have to thank God that we came back safe.”

"I am extremely happy to be back,” said Bernadette Ogilve. “I know what could have happened and I give God thanks.

Bus unauthorized for U.S. travel

The bus company, AVM Max 2000 Charter Services Inc., was not authorized to operate in the United States due to an unresolved lapse in its insurance coverage.

The Toronto-based bus company has also been cited three times in the past 18 months for breaking U.S. Department of Transportation rules on driver fatigue.

Ogilve said she was shocked to learn the company was not authorized to carry passengers in the United States.

"If something had happened to us, our families would not have even been able to get some form of compensation," she said. "They should just not have gone on the road."

The crash is still under investigation.

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