Investigators have found that a semi-truck driver failed to brake, causing an inferno that killed the truck driver and injured almost all 52 people on board the tour bus that was hit. The truck rear-ended the New York City bound tour bus and burst into flames, as did the bus. The driver was killed at the scene. The state police investigator speculated that the driver could have fallen asleep or was distracted, as there was ample time for the tractor trailer to avoid the bus.
The bus was having mechanical problems and was moving slowly, with its hazard flashers operating. Another truck driver noted that the driver of the truck that crashed did not seem to see the bus, and did not appear to take evasive action. The witness noted that the driver of the other truck appeared to have fallen asleep or was incapacitated in some way.
The driver of the bus was ticketed because he did not have a valid New York State driver’s CDL license because of speeding tickets in the state. His Canadian license was current. The bus company, Farr’s Coach Lines, has a good overall safety rating.
There have been catastrophic tour bus accidents in New York in the past few months, some apparently caused by poor maintenance or driver training and safety issues. This crash, which occurred near Waterloo on I-90, does not appear to be one of them.
Source: CBS Local Media, “NY State Police: Trucker Didn’t Brake In Fiery Waterloo Crash“, Nov. 9, 2011.