Bus Slams into Fireworks Store

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NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A bus crashed into a fireworks store Friday morning in Susquehanna County.

It happened after 7 a.m. off Route 492 in New Milford Township.

Police say the driver of a coach bus passed out while driving Pennsylvania National Guard members from Honesdale to New Milford.

The runaway bus went through a field and across a busy street before knocking down a utility pole. That bus ended up in the side of a fireworks store.

Police say no one was hurt when the bus eventually found itself in the side of Monteforte Fireworks in New Milford Township.

Folks cleaning up the mess say that's incredibly lucky considering how busy Route 492 is and that the building crashed into is filled with explosives.

A large boom is what you might expect when you hear that a bus crashed into a fireworks store, but that wasn't the case when it happened Friday morning.

"Definitely could have been a lot worse. Glad to see everybody's OK and everything. The store is still intact. It's being fixed. it's all going to be OK," said Monteforte Fireworks employee Marisa Smith.

The bus was transporting Pennsylvania National Guard members from Honesdale when the crash along Route 492 happened. The National Guard says the next stop was to pick up members in New Milford before heading to State College.

The owner of the fireworks store tells Newswatch 16 the bus driver was heading for a national guard building in New Milford. Instead, he accidentally drove up his father's driveway.

While he attempted to turn around, police say the driver passed out and lost control.

The runaway bus knocked down a tree, went through a field, over Route 492, across a drainage ditch, and knocked down a utility pole before ending up in the side of the fireworks store.

"I was bummed, you know, but the main thing was nobody got hurt," said owner James Monteforte. 'If a car was coming, if the bus would have hit the car, it would have been a disaster."

monteforte says he is still open for business despite the damage

"The inside ain't too bad with the fireworks, it's mostly the building. We'll have to replace a lot of stuff but we're definitely open."

Monteforte says this is his busiest time of year and he's grateful for the neighbors who helped him clean up the mess

"A lot of good people in the area," Monteforte said. "They came all out and helped us this morning, Yeah, we're back in business."

Police tell us no injuries were reported, but the National Guard said two of the service members did stop into the hospital to get checked out. They have been released.

The Guard members loaded on another bus and continued on their way to State College.


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