CANAAN — A bus carrying about 30 people collided with a tractor-trailer on an upstate New York highway during the second day of a historic three-day snowstorm.

The bus collided with the tractor-trailer on the Berkshire Spur section of the New York State Thruway near Canaan on Monday, authorities said. A car then rear-ended the bus.

The crash happened at about 7 p.m. in the east lane of Interstate 90, east of Exit B3 in Canaan, authorities said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer lost control and jack-knifed, going partially off the shoulder of the road, according to state police, the agency investigating the crash. The tractor-trailer was driven by Cristian Racolta, 45, of Terrebonne, Quebec City, Canada, state police said.

The trailer portion of the tractor-trailer was blocking the left lane when a bus from Viva Bus, Inc., of Massachusetts, collided with the back of the 18-wheeler’s trailer, state police said.

The bus was driven by Jia Zhen Wu, 55, of Kew Gardens, New York City, with 28 people onboard. The bus was then rear-ended by a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Daniel Petersen, 60, of Marengo, Iowa.

It was not immediately known where the bus was headed. The passengers manifest was not included in the police report.

Multiple ambulances were called to the scene, but no injuries were reported to passengers on the bus, police said.

The drivers were the only people in the tractor-trailer and the Malibu.

The state Thruway Authority cautioned motorists to seek alternate routes after multiple lanes were blocked for several hours between Exit B2 and Exit B3 as a result of the collision.

The crash occurred during the second day of a two-day storm that dumped between 12 and 24 inches of snow throughout much of the Twin Counties.

The crash prompted a response from Cuomo on Monday, who issued a warning to motorists to stay off the roads and to “let first responders do their jobs” in the wake of the crash. For those who must travel, he urged drivers to take extreme caution as road crews work around the clock to clear snow and ice.

Tickets were issued to the drivers of the tractor-trailer and the Malibu. Due to new state legislation, state police will no longer release information about the types of tickets that were issued.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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