ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Governor Kathy Hochul held a press conference on October 23 to recognize first responders for their efforts in the bus crash that occurred in Orange County on September 21. The crash took place on Interstate 84 just outside of Middletown, and resulted in the deaths of two people and 42 others being injured.
In her remarks, Hochul paid homage to and held a moment of silence for Beatrice Ferrari, 77, a retired social studies teacher at Farmingdale High School, and Gina Pellettiere, 43, the high school’s band director, both of whom tragically perished in the crash. The governor’s speech commended not only the first responders’ bravery that day, but also their swiftness.
“Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. They rushed down a hill toward the wreckage. It would not have been unusual for that bus to go up in flames at any second.” the Governor said. “You don’t know how much time you have. Every second counts, and you don’t know how many are seriously hurt.”
“And that set the tone for an incredible rescue effort that would take over 200 plus responders on the scene that day, 200 people to get them quickly out of harm’s way.” Gov. Hochul continued. “And together, they rescued every single child on the bus. So the pain of these two beautiful families didn’t have to be replicated over and over and over by traumatized parents and their siblings and grandparents. That’s remarkable.”
The governor concluded her speech by expressing her gratitude for the first responders and reminding everyone that emergency personnel are simply cut from a different cloth. “A lot of people can’t summon that sense of courage and that sense of helping others that is required to be in your positions. But please know you have a state that will never, ever take for granted your service. That’s what sets you apart, that’s what makes you special. And that’s why as the Governor of the great State of New York, I am so proud and indeed humbled to honor each of you here today.” Gov. Hochul said.