|May 17, 2017
Approximate time: 0800
Weather Conditions: Clear
Contacted by Lancaster County Wide Communications requesting us to respond to Lincoln Highway East and Route 896 in
East Lampeter Township to assist with a mass causality accident with one person trapped underneath of an overturned
With the information we were provided, we dispatched our nearest heavy duty wrecker and dispatched one of our heavy duty
sliding rotator recovery units immediately to the scene.
The heavy duty wrecker arrived moments later to find that the fire department had rescued the trapped person, however it
was requested that we continue into the scene as dispatched. As patients were being transported from the scene, the rotator
arrived on location.
A scene survey was performed. A Pontiac was found to be facing south in the eastbound lane in front of a Volvo power unit
pulling a modular home in the eastbound and center turn lanes. The Pontiac had major damage. The Volvo did not appear to
have any damage. The modular home that the Volvo was pulling suffered major damage. There was also a Chevy school bus
laying facing north in the westbound lane, with major damage that was overturned with the back emergency exit door against
the modular home. There was a large debris field from the impact, along with fluids leaking from the bus. It was determined
that due to the severity of the damages to the bus, it would not be able to be towed from the scene, that it would require to be
hauled from the scene on a lowbed trailer.
We were advised by the police department that it would several hours until their investigation was to the point that the vehicles
would be able to be moved.
At that point, the heavy duty wrecker was released from the scene. The rotator and scene supervisor remained onscene.
We were advised that both the bus and modular home that were involved in the collision were going to be impounded for
investigation purposes. We were advised that the company was requesting that the modular home be re-wrapped and
secured to prevent and further damages to the structure. At this point, we contacted Null's Recovery & Site Restoration and
advised them of the situation and what needed to be done and requested that they respond to the scene to assist with
securing the structure along with the clean up of the fluids and vehicle parts.
We were eventually advised that we could begin additional clean up tasks and that the work could begin to enclose the
modular home, however none of the vehicles or large vehicle parts could be moved yet. The recovery supervisor discussed
the recovery and clean up of the scene in depth with the investigation team. We were advised that they wanted the bus
uprighted in a manner that caused no distortion to the roadway underneath the bus. The supervisor advised that it would not
be a problem as the bus could be lifted straight up in the air and then rotated in mid air back onto its wheels. At this point, one
of our heavy duty wreckers was dispatched to the scene to transport the modular home from the scene to our storage facility.
We were advised that the Pontiac was able to be moved and that Paradise Customs was enroute to the scene to transport it.
We were advised once the Pontiac was moved that there would be additional measuring and marking to be done. We were
given the go ahead to separate the Volvo from the modular home and prepare to transport it from the accident scene to our
The heavy duty wrecker hooked to the front of the modular home, wireless towlights were installed on the rear of the
structure. Secondary attachments were installed, and the structure made ready for transport. The modular home was moved
from the area it was sitting so that measurements and photographs could be taken where it had been sitting.
We were given the go ahead to begin preparing for the tedious task of lifting the bus back to an upright position for further
The bus's engine was completely knocked loose and had to be strapped in place. The frame was folded at a 90 degree angle.
The frame was secured back to itself to prevent and movement during the uprighting and transportation process. The rear
axle on the bus was knocked loose, the axle was chained in place. Straps were placed under the bus. One was placed under
the front of the bus and connected to the frame. The second strap was placed under the rear of the bus and connected to the
back axle. These two straps would be used to upright the bus as it was being lifted. Two additional straps were placed to the
top side of the bus, one connected at the front of the bus and the other connected at the rear of the bus. These two straps
would be used for lifting and controlling the uprighting process.
The sliding rotator recovery unit was moved into position and set up on a proper work platform. The boom was extended, the
wire ropes were lowered and prepared to be connected to the rigging.
All rigging was connected, tensioned, and inspected for proper connections. We were given the go ahead to proceed.
The bus was lifted straight up off of the roadway. Once clear of the roadway, the bus was rotated from the position it had been
sitting to now facing east in the eastbound lane. The bus was lowered to the ground with all rigging left tensioned so that
stability of the bus was maintained. The investigators then examined the bus for damages, looked through the bus, and
photographed both the bus and the roadway where the bus had been laying.
We were then given the go ahead to load the bus. The bus was re-lifted and set onto our lowboy trailer. The bus was secured
to the trailer so that it could not move and also in a manor to prevent any movement of the frame rails from the current
Our personnel assisted NR&SR with cleaning up the fluids, vehicle parts, and debris from the roadway and placing them into
DOT approved salvage transport drums.
The bus and the modular home were both transported from the accident scene to Null's of Paradise. Once at Null's, both units
were placed into our secure storage area. It was ensured that the structure was completely enclosed. The rotator lifted the
bus off of the lowboy and set it onto the ground. The bus was completely wrapped in a tarp. The tarp was secured.
The rigging that was utilized was inspected and returned to its respective location. Our equipment was made ready for the
next call and returned to its home terminal.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident.
We wish the students a full and speedy recovery!
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE RONKS FIRE COMPANY, EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP
POLICE DEPARTMENT, ALONG WITH ALL OF THE OTHER AGENCIES INVOLVED FOR ALL
OF THEIR HELP, HARD WORK, AND DEDICATION ON THIS INCIDENT!