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Bus crash ‘will stay with her for some time,’ victim’s mom says

A bus collided with an overpass in Boston on Saturday evening

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

A bus collided with an overpass in Boston on Saturday evening.

With other children bleeding around her, Alana Merrigan called her mother, Teresa, from inside the wreckage of a bus on Soldiers Field Road to tell her that she was in “stable” condition.

The 17-year-old, from Levittown, Pa., suffered a concussion and ankle injury when the bus she and 42 other Pennsylvania students were riding on crashed into an overpass Saturday evening, shredding the top of the vehicle and injuring 34.

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State Police spokesman David Proccopio said today in a statement that troopers are waiting for the results of an investigation before deciding whether or not to press charges against the bus driver. Several people remain hospitalized in Boston, including one 17-year-old boy who is in critical condition, the statement said.

Alana returned home Sunday from the Boston hospital where she was being treated. Several other people on the bus, which was transporting the children back to Bucks County, Pa., after a tour of Harvard University, remain in local hospitals.

“While [Alana] was still at the hospital, she said she woke up crying because all she could see was the bus,” Teresa Merrigan said. “I think this will stay with her for some time.”

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Alana continues to have painful headaches from the concussion and cannot put pressure on her swollen right ankle, Teresa said.

Alana attends Bucks County Technical High School, where she studies nursing. Teresa said she could tell her daughter’s training kicked in while Alana was stuck on the bus.

“During the accident she fell back to what she was learning, trying to help people get off the bus before she got off,” Teresa said.

When Alana called her, Teresa said she tried to calm her daughter down. Teresa asked her if she was bleeding and Alana said no.

Alana assessed herself, using the medical terminology she had been learning in school, and then began to help others, Teresa said.

“Her first concern is usually caring for other people before herself,” she said.

Teresa said her daughter had spoken to at least one other child who had been on the bus and was still hospitalized in Boston as of last night.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.
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