December 2, 2018 — Last evening, at approximately 9:45 p.m., troopers from the State Police Middleboro Barracks responded to reports of a crash involving a school bus, Route 24 southbound, south of Exit 11 in Berkley.
Upon arrival, Trooper Paul Martin discovered that there was a crash, or crashes, involving a school bus and a 2014 Subaru Impreza.
The preliminary investigation has revealed that the bus and a Subaru, driven by Christy Gilpatrick, 27, of Warren, RI were both traveling southbound when for reasons still under investigation, they lost control and went off the road to the right, ending up in the woods.
Troopers are in the process of checking the status of the victims in last night’s bus crash.
After further investigation by MSP, they have revised the number of occupants on the bus to 23 adults and children, including the driver (down from the 25 stated last night).
Also, evaluation at the hospitals by medical personnel led to determinations that more victims than initially thought suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures. Upon further review, we now know that several people, including some children, suffered serious injuries. One child with a serious injury was, after initial transport to Rhode Island Hospital, was later transported to a Boston hospital for additional treatment. The remainder were treated at Rhode Island Hospital, St. Anne’s Hospital, Charlton Memorial Hospital, and Morton Hospital. Many victims remain hospitalized.
The bus is owned by First Student, Inc., a bus company in Tiverton, R.I. The bus passengers were First Student employees and their families and friends who went on a company trip to LaSalette Shrine in North Attleborough.
Gilpatrick, was determined by troopers to be under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested for OUI alcohol second offense; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; and marked lanes violation. Gilpatrick will be arraigned tomorrow in Taunton District Court.
Massachusetts State Police note that there has been no determination made yet as to whether Gilpatrick played any role in causing the crash. The offenses she is charged with at this time reflects that. If further investigation determines additional charges are warranted, MSP will seek those.
This investigation remains active with many statements and follow-up information to be determined.