Police Identify 2 Dead After Truck Hits School Bus in Waterbury

The driver and passenger of a pickup truck were killed Tuesday afternoon when their vehicle struck a school bus in Waterbury, according to police.

Police said a Dodge Dakota pickup truck driven by Jeremy Rucker, 24, of Naugatuck, crossed over the double yellow line in the area of 351 Watertown Avenue around 4 p.m. Tuesday and struck a school bus traveling northbound. The Rucker and passenger Michael Maldonado, 23, of Waterbury, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Waterbury superintendent said the school bus had completed its run and no children were on board at the time of the crash. According to Waterbury police, the bus driver suffered minor injuries.

Watertown Avenue was closed for hours Tuesday evening between Bunker Hill Avenue and Robbins Street while an accident reconstruction team investigated the crash.

Police said it's not clear why Rucker lost control of the truck. The investigation is ongoing and officials are awaiting results of toxicology testing, speed analysis and crash reconstruction.

Officials with Durham School Services, the company that operates the school bus involved in the collision, said they're working alongside law enforcement to investigate the crash.

"We are sad to confirm there was an incident this afternoon involving a Durham school bus and a passenger vehicle that resulted in two fatalities. We extend our sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased," a spokesperson for Durham School Services said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Check back for updates on this developing story. [[292275541, C]]

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