Instead, the trip was brought to a tragic stop at 8:17 a.m. in North Hudson, N.Y. when the bus crashed on Interstate 87, killing a teenage girl.
The 2008 Prevost bus operated by Autobus Fleur de Lys was driving South on I-87 when police say it veered off the road, swiping guide wires and crashing through them, finally coming to a rest on its side in the median.
Police say 14-year-old Chelssy Mercier of Quebec was ejected from the bus, then pinned underneath. Two families pulled over to help crews lift the bus off of her. She died from her injuries.
Essex County EMS Coordinator Patty Bashaw says it was a Mass Casualty Incident, something the agencies have a plane in place for.
55 people, all Canadian citizens, were taken to a number of area hospitals. Elizabethtown Community Hospital took on the majority of the patients.
The investigation has turned to the 61-year-old driver, whose name has not been released by police.
"He has been the subject of inspections...in the past year," said Major Richard Smith, the Commander for Troop B of the New York State Police. "In all three of those inspections, he passed."
Police have ruled out drugs or alcohol, but do not know if speed was a factor in the crash.
There were no skid marks on the roadway.
"It generally means there's been no braking or no side sliding of tires prior to the accident," Major Smith said.
Investigators will be downloading black box information from the bus to determine if the driver was speeding, or if he applied his brakes when he veered off the road.
Police said they do respond to a number of crashes on the Northway that are caused by driver fatigue, but they don't know if that's what caused this crash.
Because the bus was from Canada, it is only required to follow that country's laws when it comes to equipment. Investigators will be inspecting the bus itself to see if there were any mechanical problems.
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