Posted February 18, 2016 | News
BREAKING – An unoccupied school bus, taxicab, and SUV have just collided in a massive multi-vehicle pileup at the intersection of 15th Street and JFK Boulevard in Center City, Philadelphia, crashing into the windows of a TD Bank branch near LOVE Park. Images show a bicycle crushed in the wreckage as well. As of 1:00 P.M., it is unclear whether any pedestrians or vehicle occupants have been injured or killed. However, according to TD officials, no one was injured or killed inside of the bank. Emergency crews have already been dispatched to the scene, and traffic is currently being rerouted around the site. We will continue to update you as more information on this multi-vehicle school bus accident comes to light.
UPDATE – Officials have confirmed that at least 10 people suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident. The accident also damaged a traffic light and one-way street sign.
UPDATE #2 — The injury count has increased from 10 to 19, though no fatalities have been reported. SEPTA officials have also stated that a Route 17 bus was involved in the accident, though the nature of the SEPTA bus’ accident connection is currently unclear. A SEPTA Transit Police vehicle also appears to have been involved.
Confirming earlier reports that no one at the TD Bank location was hurt, TD officials have released the following statement:
We are thankful no one was seriously injured in this accident – the safety of our customers and employees is our number one concern. In light of the accident our store at 15th and JFK will remain closed the rest of the day.
UPDATE #3 — We are relieved to report that, according to Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Palumbo, none of the 19 injuries resulting from the crash are life-threatening. Hopefully, all of the victims will make a full and speedy recovery.
Eyewitness accounts describing the accident have emerged over the course of the day. According to 37-year old North Philadelphia resident Roblette Baker, the chain reaction was initiated when the cab struck the SEPTA Route 17 bus. While the hit SEPTA bus pulled to the side of the road, Baker saw the cab appear to accelerate, eventually striking the school bus and driving it into the Lincoln SUV. The school bus then ran onto a sidewalk, while the SUV crashed through the window of TD Bank. The cab also hit a SEPTA Transit Police vehicle, which, fortunately, was not occupied at the time of the collision.
49-year-old South Philadelphia resident Anthony Ouellette, who was using the ATM at TD shortly before the accident occurred, said the crash “sounded like an explosion.” However, Ouellette did not witness the pile-up.
Captain Palumbo says the PPD is investigating the chain of events.
There have been reports that the taxi driver was hospitalized for injuries. It is unclear whether the driver of the Lincoln SUV is among the injury victims.