City Hall Rolls Out The Red Carpet

HAZLETON — It has been a few weeks since a tractor-trailer rear-ended a bus full of children on Interstate 81 in Luzerne County. Nobody was seriously injured but the wreck did interfere with their field trip and on Wednesday, the kids were all treated to some fun.

About 80 children who were involved in a crash last month walked into Hazleton city hall for the first time. They were on a YMCA field trip when one of the two buses they were riding in was rear-ended by a truck. The crash was on Interstate 81 near Hazleton.

The YMCA officials who were on the buses can’t forget what happened.

“It was a sharp pain in my body and I was in shock because I couldn’t believe it had happened because that’s something you’d see in movies,” said Jennifer Cosme.

“It was a challenging experience but also very humbling because, by the grace of God, no one got hurt,” said Bob Kotansky. “It could have been horrific.”

Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea wanted to do something special for the crash victims so he invited them all to city hall. When we stopped by, the children were shown some of the tools police use. They were even introduced to Grizz, a police dog.

“He can tackle a bad guy using his paws and he can use his head to push him,” said Cpl. Kirk Wetzel, Hazleton Police.

“I liked the dog and I’d like to see the jail, how it looks,” laughed Nicholas Caputo.

The next step for the kids will be on August 22 when they go to the Pottsville pool and finish up the day trip which was cut short by the crash. The trip is being paid for by several organizations.

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