Report finds bus driver in fatal crash may have been fatigued

Report finds bus driver in fatal crash may have been fatiguedThe bus driver who was at the helm during a deadly New York bus crash last year may have been lying about the amount of sleep he had received in the days leading up to the accident, a new report by federal investigators has found, according to The Associated Press.

Federal safety agencies in the U.S. have expressed concern over the number of fatigued drivers in the bus transportation industry, which carries more than 700 million passengers to destinations across the country every year – about the same amount as commercial airlines.

The new report found that in the three days leading up to March 12, 2011, the day of the accident, bus driver Ophadell Williams was operating his cell phone and rental car at an almost continuous rate in the daytime hours, a period in which he originally said he spent sleeping, newly released documents from the National Transportation Safety Board show. The document also states that Williams had his driver’s license revoked 18 times between 1987 and 2007, had a criminal record and used several aliases to acquire new licenses. One of these was suspended prior to the fatal accident.

Initial reports from the NTSB show that the tour bus operated by Williams was traveling at 78 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone when it struck a barrier and slid into the vertical support of a road sign, slicing the bus in two along the window line. Of the 32 passengers, 15 were killed and all others reported injuries. Williams was charged with – but pleaded not guilty to – manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to the media outlet.

The bus was traveling from the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut back to Chinatown in New York City along Interstate 95 when the accident occurred.