A New Jersey woman is dead following a tragic bus accident in Virginia earlier this week. The fatal accident is one in a line of several similar crashes in New Jersey and throughout the East, again calling into question the bus companies’ safety standards and the federal government’s regulation of them.
The bus was on its way to New York from Virginia early Tuesday morning when it suddenly began to swerve and sway across the road. The vehicle ultimately veered off Interstate 95 and turned over onto its roof, tossing its passengers “like batter in a mixing bowl,” on top of one another and all throughout the bus. As the bus windows broke, passengers suffered cuts to their arms and faces, and in the pre-dawn darkness, many became trapped in the wreckage.
Passengers helped one another escape the bus through broken windows, and emergency officials soon arrived on the scene to free the rest. Several passengers were taken to nearby hospitals with serious injuries, and four passengers, including a woman from Jersey City, New Jersey, were killed. The other victims were from New York and Pennsylvania.
The reason for the crash is not yet known, but the investigation remains ongoing. Police have not stated whether the driver was impaired or if he or she suffered injuries in the accident.
The fatal bus crash is another in a line of similar accidents in recent months. In March, a tour bus crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing two people and injuring 40 more. That crash came just three days after a fatal tour bus accident in New York that took the lives of 15 people. With the unprecedented increase in bus crashes, federal transportation officials are discussing ways to improve bus safety. This latest accident certainly adds to the need for such improvements.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Rider: ‘People were thrown everywhere’,” Kristen Green, 2 June 2011