A Ride the Ducks crash in Seattle killed four and injured dozens more on Thursday. The popular tourist vehicle crashed on the Aurora Bridge after colliding with a charter bus around 11:15 a.m.
The individuals killed in the Ride the Ducks crash were all international students from North Seattle College. The identities of the victims will not be released until their next of kin has been notified.
Fifteen of the Ride the Ducks crash victims are listed in critical condition and have been transported to several local hospitals, according to a statement by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, MSN reports. A total of 51 passengers were injured in the Aurora Bridge collision.
PHOTOS: ‘Ride the Ducks’ vehicle, charter bus collide on Aurora Bridge – http://t.co/QpULKYN8Ig pic.twitter.com/9sre0WxnBO
— KOMO News (@komonews) September 24, 2015
An investigation into the Ride the Ducks crash is ongoing. Police have not yet determined whether or not a mechanical issue on the amphibious vehicle may have caused the incident. A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are traveling to Seattle and will reportedly take over the accident review.
Brad Volm, a motorist traveling behind the Ride the Ducks tour during the Seattle bridge crash, said the vehicle swerved in front of him and the appeared to him the front left tire of the amphibious vehicle locked up and caused it to swerve into oncoming traffic.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 24, 2015
“I know there’s a strong need for answers, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said, the New York Daily News reports.
— Seattle Attractions (@Seattle_Tourism) September 19, 2015
A representative from the North Seattle College told local media that a total of 45 staff and students were on the charter bus. The “pure immensity” of the Ride the Ducks accident reportedly proved an obstacle for first responders. The injured were triaged at the accident scene and then the most severely were evacuated from the bridge by ambulance.
Ride the Ducks Seattle President Brian Tracey told the media that he was still gathering information about the accident and would be making a detailed statement in the future. He did note that the company is committed to making the ride as safe as possible and trains drivers to be particularly cautious on the Aurora Bridge.
“It’s devastating, Safety of our passengers in our number one concern,” Tracy said.
Approximately 45,000 vehicles travel on the bridge daily. The Ride the Ducks accident marked the first fatality on the Aurora Bridge since 1999. There have reportedly been 144 crashes on the bridge since 2005.
“[There was] a lot of blood and crying,” Jahna Byer, a registered nurse on a metro bus during the accident said. Byer also noted that when she got off the bus to help she saw victims who collapsed after freeing themselves from the wreckage. She praised the efforts of the first responders who arrived on scene quickly. “They were so on top of everything. They saved a lot of lives because of it.”
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) September 25, 2015
The North Seattle College students and staff were on their way to Safeco Field for a new-student orientation when the Ride the Ducks crash happened, institution president Warren Brown said.
“Our hearts go out to every student, employee and individual involved in this tragic accident,” president Brown added. “At this time, our main focus is to concentrate on the well-being of our students and to notify their families as quickly as possible.”
[Image via: Twitter]