UNION, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced today that the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating a fatal bus crash that resulted in the death of a NJ TRANSIT bus driver and one passenger. 

Shortly after 6 a.m. today, Aug. 19, a NJ TRANSIT bus -- the 59 line to Westfield -- collided with the 13 bus which was traveling from Irvington to Belleville. The crash occurred at the intersection of Broad St. and Raymond Blvd. The 59 bus was traveling without any passengers. The bus driver was beginning his route.

The 13 bus had 17 passengers on board along with the driver. The bus driver on the 59 bus was killed. He has been identified as Joseph Barthelus, age 70, of Union.  A veteran driver, he had been a NJ TRANSIT bus operator for 27 years. A woman, who was a passenger on the bus, died at University Hospital. At this time, her identity has not been confirmed. 

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One other person remains hospitalized in critical condition and five are in serious condition. Several passengers had to be extricated from the number 13 bus which sustained the most serious damage. 

The investigation is active and ongoing. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.  Anyone with information or video of the crash is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.