Dartmouth Coach bus kills 47-year-old man

Vishwachand Kolla was hit and killed by a Dartmouth Coach bus while he waited to pick up a friend from Boston Logan International Airport.

by Isabelle Han | 4/4/23 5:05am

by Kelly Beaupre / The Dartmouth

Updated April 4, 2023 at 11:36 a.m.

On March 27, a Dartmouth Coach bus struck and killed Vishwachand Kolla, a 47-year-old man from Lexington, Massachusetts, at Boston Logan International Airport. 

The accident occurred at 4:59 p.m. on the Terminal B lower roadway in the arrivals section of the airport, according to a written statement from the Massachusetts state police. Kolla had just emerged from his Acura SUV when the bus made contact with him and “dragged him along” the driver’s side of the car, the statement added. Kolla was picking up his friend, a visiting musician, when he was hit, according to a GoFundMe page organized by friends Priya and Girish Hanchinamani.

According to Noemi Mesropian ’26, a passenger on the Coach at the time of the accident, the bus was en route from Boston Logan airport to Hanover. The bus had left its first terminal at 4:50 p.m. and was making its way through the airport to pick up additional passengers, Mesropian said. She added that when the bus arrived in Terminal B, it “turned too close to the car that was next to [the bus].”

“[The bus driver] screamed ‘I think I just hit someone,’ and everyone just freaked out,” Mesropian said. “I saw [the bus driver] fall to her knees.” 

Members of the Massport Fire Department and Boston EMS, along with an off-duty nurse who witnessed the accident firsthand, performed “lifesaving measures” on Kolla, the police statement noted. However, Kolla had sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead on-scene by a paramedic. 

The Massachusetts state police wrote that the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, which “regulates the commercial bus industry,” and the Dartmouth Transportation Company, which owns the Dartmouth Coach, also responded to the accident.

After the accident, police interviewed several Coach passengers and told them all to remain in place, Mesropian said. After approximately an hour and a half, the passengers and their luggage were transferred to another bus, she added. 

“It just continued to escalate, and the police started showing up,” Mesropian said. “People were screaming outside, and I was literally just sitting there. I knew that if I went outside and saw what was going on, I would probably freak out.” 

Although the bus only experienced an hour-and-a-half delay, Mesropian said she was initially concerned that she was “going to be stuck [at the airport] for the next day.” 

“The police came in and said there will be another bus in five minutes,” Mesoprian said. “And then five minutes would pass, and there was no bus.” 

At the scene, state troopers interviewed the 54-year-old bus driver — who declined medical treatment, documented the scene and inspected the bus, the police report stated. The scene cleared shortly after 8 p.m., the state police wrote. Mesropian added that Terminal B was closed after the accident. 

Several groups — including the State Police Detective Unit for Suffolk County, State Police Troop F and the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction, Crime Scene Services and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Sections — are investigating whether “criminal charges are warranted,” according to the report. 

“We are devastated by the death of Mr. Kolla, and the pain his family is enduring,” Dartmouth Coach General Manager Keith Skorupski wrote in an email statement.

Skorupski declined further comments due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.  

According to his GoFundMe page, Kolla is survived by his wife Soujanya and his two sons: Madhav, a second grade student, and Dhruva, a ninth grade student.

“His departure has left a void among the community,” the GoFundMe page stated. “His last moments in this life were spent doing what he loved to do — helping everyone in need.” 

According to an obituary from the Cremation Society of New Hampshire, Kolla worked as a Data Analytics Director for Takeda Pharmaceuticals and was an “integral part” of JET USA and VT Seva, organizations that serve community youth. He was also an active member of the Telugu and Indian communities in the Greater Boston area, the obituary noted. 

“[Kolla] is remembered by his students as one of the most influential persons in their lives and was their role model,” the Cremation Society of New Hampshire wrote. 

Kolla’s funeral service was held on Apr. 1 in Manchester, NH.