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Coroner: School bus driver electrocuted after crash

August 24, 2019

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. (AP) — A coroner says a school bus driver in western Pennsylvania was electrocuted trying to flee from his burning vehicle after it struck a utility pole and caught fire.

Authorities in Beaver County say the bus wasn’t carrying any students when it struck the pole at about 3 p.m. Friday in North Sewickley Township.

Officials said the crash brought down power lines, and the driver stepped on the downed wires as he was fleeing the burning vehicle.

Coroner David Gabauer said the driver, 60-year-old Timothy VanKirk of Ellwood City, died of accidental high-voltage electrocution.

Chris Kemper of the First Student bus company said VanKirk was practicing his route in preparation for the start of school. He called the death a tragedy and said officials’ “thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

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