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Bus Transporting Airline Passengers Crashes, Killing Driver, Injuring 12



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NEW MILFORD, Pa. (AP) -- A tour bus transporting diverted airline passengers from Syracuse, N.Y., to Newark, N.J., crashed while exiting Interstate 81 early Friday, killing the driver and injuring a dozen others.

The bus was trying to exit the southbound lanes just after 4 a.m. in New Milford Township, Susquehanna County, when it crashed through several barriers, crossed the ramp and landed with part of the vehicle hanging off the roadway, according to state police.

The driver, Carl W. Fowler, 37, of Mount Morris, N.Y., was pronounced dead at the scene. Twelve passengers were taken to hospitals by ambulances, but airline officials said the injuries were not believed to be serious.

The passengers had been among about 170 people on a flight from Salt Lake City to Newark that was diverted to Syracuse because of bad weather Thursday night, said Brian Drake, a spokesman for Delta Air Lines Inc. in Syracuse.

After the plane landed, mechanics discovered a hydraulic leak that could not immediately be fixed, Drake said. The airline was unable to find hotel rooms for the passengers, so it called in seven tour buses, which left for Newark around 2:30 a.m.

Most of the passengers suffered only minor injuries and were on their way to Newark on Friday, Drake said.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation.

New Milford is about 30 miles north of Scranton.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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