BEAVER FALLS (KDKA) — A school bus driver was killed when his vehicle crashed into a utility pole and caught fire this afternoon, bringing down wires in New Sewickley Township.

It happened after 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Mercer and Foster Roads in Beaver Falls.

Photo Credit: Tim Lawson KDKA)

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

Officials say when the driver ⁠— 60-year-old Timothy VanKirk ⁠— got out of the bus, he stepped on live wires and was electrocuted. 

No students were on the bus at the time, and the driver was doing practice runs before the start of school.

Photo Credit: Tim Lawson KDKA)

“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 drive did step out, and the ground was energized.”

His death was ruled accidental from high voltage electrocution.