Wild bus ride on senior trip to DC startles students

Posted: Updated:
RONKONKOMA -

A senior trip to the nation's capital over the weekend included a wild bus ride for some students from Sachem High School North.

Lindsay Rufer, a senior at the school, says she won't soon forget the terrifying ride. She tells News 12 that about 400 students were heading to Washington, D.C., when one of the Hampton Jitney buses carrying students was driving erratically.

"The bus driver... was swerving in and out of lanes and we were narrowly missing cars," Rufer says. "On the way there I was very scared, because I was on a window seat and I watched as the bus driver swerved and almost hit a big trailer truck."

Rufer says the students made it to Washington intact, but the trip's chaperones decided they weren't traveling back to New York on the same bus.

"'The bus driver was driving too erratically and we didn't feel safe putting you on the bus,'" Rufer says the chaperones told students. "So they split everybody on the bus, about 53 students and faculty, and split them up into different buses to get them back home."

Rufer says the school notified the parents of students on the affected bus by phone. The parents of the students aboard the other seven buses on the trip received a robocall.

The message to parents from the school said, "Out of an abundance of caution, students were removed from the bus and placed in a seat on an alternate bus. It is important to note that at no time were the students on the bus in any danger."

The incident comes just two weeks after a charter bus carrying Huntington High School students struck an overpass on the Southern State Parkway. That crash sheared off the roof of the bus and injured multiple students.

Rufer says the chaperones on her trip probably averted a serious accident by taking them off their bus and putting them on another.

"All in all, I think it was a better decision to keep us safe because honestly, I did not feel safe going down to D.C.," she says.

Rufer and other students say they don't know why the driver was operating the bus erratically. News 12 made several calls to Hampton Jitney, but has not heard back.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."