New York Bus Crash Claims Lives of Gina Pellettiere and Beatrice Ferrari
Tragedy struck an upstate New York community when a 2-year-old boy lost his mother in a devastating bus crash, which also claimed the life of a retired history teacher. Gina Pellettiere, aged 43, was not just a single mother but also the dedicated band director at a Long Island high school. Beatrice Ferrari, affectionately known as the “cute and cuddly grandma” of Farmingdale High School’s marching band, was the other teacher who tragically lost her life in the accident.
Following the heartbreaking news, a close friend of Gina, Joe Ingoglia, expressed his grief on Facebook, writing, “Gina Pellettiere, you will be deeply missed. We all lost one of the greatest souls around. One of the strongest mothers you will ever come in contact with. A woman filled with joy and laughter and has inspired so many.”
He also reassured that Gina’s young son, Joseph, would receive the support of their music community.
The fatal accident occurred as their bus, one of six in a convoy en route to a band concert in Pennsylvania, suddenly collapsed and tumbled down a 50-foot ravine off Interstate 84 in Orange County near Wawayanda. Tragically, five students were critically injured in the incident.
Amanda Cerami, one of Gina’s close neighbors, remembered her as an “amazing friend, an amazing community member, and an amazing teacher.” She recalled seeing Gina often, playing with her son outside. Cerami believes that Joseph is now in the care of his grandparents. She described Gina as a family-oriented person, sharing, “Every Sunday, her family was over. They would have a big Italian feast. Every Sunday.”
On the other hand, Beatrice Ferrari had retired after dedicating over 30 years to teaching at the school but remained an active volunteer, including her annual commitment to the band camp trip. Local attorney Ralph Morales praised her in a heartfelt Facebook tribute, saying, “Bea had an omnipresent smile on her face as she ran band camp.”
He described her as the “cute and cuddly grandma” to everyone, but also noted her extraordinary leadership during times of crisis. “She was everyone’s cute and cuddly grandma, but when the crisis occurred during band camp, she instantly shed her grandma persona and became an unparalleled leader who was in total control,” Morales added.
Ferrari leaves behind her husband, Renato, her daughters, Dina Lopresto and Angela Ferrari, and her four grandchildren, who affectionately knew her as “Mimi.” A family friend shared, “Everyone adored her — her students, her children, her grandchildren.” She was known for her belief in her students’ potential, her honesty, and fairness. She pushed her students to be their best and will be greatly missed.
Candles with the inscription “Daler Strong. Forever in our hearts” were placed outside Ferrari’s home, accompanied by small tea light candles. The five students critically injured in the crash had not been identified as of Friday, and there were no immediate updates on their conditions.
Outside the school, candles were lit in memory of the students and their beloved teachers, with a sign reading: “We love you so much.”
In a poignant Facebook post, Morales expressed the profound grief of the community, stating, “The palpable grief that our community faces for having lost both Ms. P and Bea is profoundly upsetting. We will forever miss these iconic women, beloved leaders, and inspiring educators. We are better people for having known Gina and Bea. May their souls rest in peace.”