When you’re on a bus crammed with passengers, it’s reasonable to assume the driver will do his best to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, all too often drivers grow fatigued, and the results can be deadly.
The fatal bus accident in Virginia this week has claimed the life of a 63-year-old Philadelphia woman. The bus was headed to Chinatown in New York City from Greensboro, North Carolina, earlier this week. It crashed just before 5 a.m. on Interstate 95 in Virginia, killing the woman and three others. It apparently went off the road and flipped onto its roof.
According to NBC Philadelphia’s website, the bus was being operated by a driver employed by Sky Express Inc. After the accident, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration apparently shut the company down completely.
58 people were aboard, and 53 of those were injured. By Wednesday, about 20 of those passengers were still hospitalized, some with serious injuries. Photos posted to NBC’s website showed the bus had completely flipped over. Luggage and debris lay everywhere.
Police apparently believe the driver nodded off just before the crash. Some witnesses say the driver appeared fatigued and was drinking Red Bull. Mechanical failure has reportedly been ruled out as a cause of the accident. The driver was charged with reckless driving.
Sky Express previously had nearly 50 citations for fatigued drivers. The company’s buses were involved in four other crashes in the last two years. Police have apparently been paying extra attention to bus safety since March, when a bus bound for New York crashed, killing 15 people.