NEWARK, New Jersey --A bus driver died after two buses collided at North Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard in Newark Friday morning.
The New Jersey Transit buses ran into each other, likely at high speed, around 6 a.m. One of the buses was broken nearly in half.
Eighteen people were hurt, 17 passengers and the other bus driver. Seven of the 18 are in critical condition. The rest have non-life threatening injuries, with nine described as walking wounded.
John del Giorno and NewsCopter 7 above the scene:
The bus driver who died has not been identified, but was described by the New Jersey Transit Police Department as a longtime employee. The other driver had neck, back and shoulder injuries.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the cause of the accident is under investigation. "We have some preliminarily kind of data that says we suspect one of the bus drivers may have gone through a red light. We are not positive about that, but that is what is being said," he said.
He said the buses involved were a Route 59 bus and a Route 13 bus, which had 17 passengers and a driver on board. The Route 59 bus was empty, except for the driver who was killed.
Pictures from the scene:
Traffic in the area was being diverted. Baraka urged commuters to stay away from the intersection as officials worked to clear the street.
#NJTBus service in downtown Newark will experience delays/detours due to a bus accident by Raymond Blvd & Broad St, Newark.— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) August 19, 2016
Victims were taken to University Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Michael's Hospital and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office will investigate the crash.
"We are praying for all the folks in the hospital that they get a speedy recovery from this tragic accident," said Baraka, who said he did not have details on passengers' injuries.
One witness posted a Facebook Live video to his page: