Lehigh Valley

Tractor trailer, bus carrying Army women's basketball team collide on Route 33

Tractor Trailer and bus collide on Route 33 in Northampton County

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - A tractor trailer and charter bus carrying the Army women's basketball team collided on Route 33, between Interstate 78 and Freemansburg Avenue, in Bethlehem Twp., Northampton Co., trapping the truck driver in his cab.

Around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday Alton Spight, 54, Blue Mountain, Mississippi, lost control of his tractor trailer, hit the back of the bus that was traveling north on the shoulder of Route 33, state police said.

The bus, carrying the United States Military Academy Women's Basketball team, had engine problems, which is why it was driving slowly on the shoulder, police said.

After the impact, Spight was trapped inside his truck.  He was rescued by the Bethlehem Township Fire Department and taken to St. Luke's University Health Network-Fountain Hill.

Police said charges will be filed against Spight.

Information posted on Army's athletic department web site stated: "It does not appear that there are any serious injuries, however, as a precaution, all members of the travel party will be evaluated for injuries at local hospitals."

Victims were taken to St. Luke's - Anderson Campus, Lehigh Valley Hospital Muhlenberg, and Easton Hospital.

Officials at Army's athletic department said  28 people were on the bus, including the driver. The bus driver was identified by police as Hector M. Bernard, Jr., 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

The charter bus was on its way back to a hotel following a shoot-around at Stabler Arena prior to a Wednesday night game against Lehigh University.

Route 33 North was closed for a period of time in the area of Interstate 78 and Freemansburg Avenue.

The Army-Lehigh basketball game will be played at a later date.

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