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beaverfallsbuscrash.jpg KDKA-TV
Workers tow away a school bus involved in a fatal crash in Beaver Falls, Pa.

Crash kills school bus driver in western Pennsylvania

Driver making practice runs is electrocuted after bus hits utility pole and starts fire.

A school bus driver in Western Pennsylvania was killed after his vehicle crashed into a utility pole and caught fire.

KDKA-TV reports that the driver, Timothy VanKirk, 60, was electrocuted Friday afternoon after stepping off the bus he had been driving in Beaver Falls, Pa.

According to emergency officials, the bus struck a utility pole, and the impact of the crash snapped the pole, bringing down wires and catching the bus on fire.

No students were on the bus at the time. VanKirk was doing practice runs before the start of classes this week in the Riverside Beaver County School District.

“There was a witness that saw flames coming from the back passenger side of the bus,” North Sewickley Township Police Chief Jeff Becze said. “He told the driver not to get out. The driver did step out, and the ground was energized.”

The death was ruled accidental from high-voltage electrocution.

Beaver Falls is about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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