COAL TOWNSHIP - A 76-year-old Coal Township man suffered minor injuries to his face Saturday after he rear-ended a charter bus stopped at a red light along Route 61 at the entrance to BRL Grocery Outlet.

Joseph G. Dorko, 76, of 905 W. Arch St., was treated at Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital and released.

No one else was injured in the crash.

Ronald Costella was driving the King Coal bus, a 2005 MCI, which had nine passengers aboard. He had just made his first stop on a tour bound for Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, where a strawberry festival was being held.

"I was stopped and we were chatting and all of a sudden it hit us from behind," said Costella, 55, of 2 W. 14th St., Danville.

The crash occurred shortly after 7 a.m. in the right lane of southbound Route 61. A low-rising sun in the east hampered visibility for southbound motorists.

The impact was strong enough to deploy the air bags in Dorko's 2004 Buick LeSabre and wedge its front end beneath the bus's rear bumper, popping the hood and crinkling it inward and causing significant damage to the vehicle's engine.

Both lanes of Route 61 south were closed as emergency responders cleaned up fuel and debris, and as Dorko's car was loaded onto a wrecker. Traffic was diverted into the adjacent parking lot and rerouted to the state highway, which reopened about 8 a.m.

King Coal sent a second bus to continue the trip south. The damaged bus was driven from the scene.

Assisting Detective Jeffrey Brennan at the scene were members of East End and Brady fire companies, Coal Township Rescue, Coal Township Fire Police and AREA Services.