A passenger bus crashed early this morning, just north of Cincinnati. The driver may have fallen asleep.
The Greyhound bus was carrying 51 passengers bound for Detroit when it careened off I-75 around 4:00 a.m., violently striking a tree and fence. The out-of-control vehicle flipped over twice before it finally came to rest on its side, injuring at least 35 people.
Nearly 100 first-responders arrived on the scene to find passengers suffering from a wide range of injuries. Six people required helicopter transportation to area hospitals and 29 were taken by ambulance. Reports indicate that emergency crews had to extract passengers trapped in the bus, some of whom had a suffered compound fracture – a grisly injury in which a broken bone pierces the skin.
Driver may have fallen asleep
Christopher Lake, a passenger from Michigan, told TV reporters that he saw the driver slumped over and heard a woman scream at the driver, “Wake up! Wake up!”
However, Kim Plaskett, a spokeswoman for Greyhound Lines Inc., assured reporters that the driver had only been on duty for an hour and was “fully rested.”
Interstate commercial passenger bus drivers must follow strict Hours of Service (HOS) regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Once drivers have been behind the wheel for 10 hours, they must rest for 8 hours before they are permitted to drive again. Additionally, there are limits for total weekly hours. Drivers may not exceed 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in an 8 day period.
Commercial drivers must also submit to a medical exam conducted by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Physicians take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam – testing the driver’s vision, hearing, blood pressure, and screening for drugs and alcohol. The results are recorded in a medical report. The DOT exam is valid for 24 months.
Bus accidents are a serious problem
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “In the last two years, Greyhound buses have been involved in 102 crashes, three involving fatalities and 57 involving injuries. Nationally, in 2011 alone, there were 54,000 accidents involving buses, with 283 fatalities and 2,400 injuries.”
In any motor vehicle crash, the period immediately after the crash is critical. Prompt investigations can capture accurate explanations of what happened and prevent evidence from being lost or destroyed. You can trust our experienced attorneys and comprehensive team of doctors, nurses, and accident reconstruction experts to investigate your claim.
For information about how our Ohio lawyers can help you obtain compensation for your damages after an accident, call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online.
“34 injured in Liberty Twp. bus crash” by the Cincinnati Enquirer, September 14, 2013. (Updated)
“Greyhound Bus Overturns In Southwest Ohio; 34 Injured” by Lisa Cornwell, Huffington Post, September 14, 2013.
“Ohio bus crash: Did driver fall asleep?” Christian Science Monitor/AP, September 14, 2013.