The New York bus accident that left 15 people dead last year was caused by a severely fatigued bus driver who also had a poor driving record, the National Transportation Safety Board stated in a report.
Both the driver — who the NTSB board said had had little sleep for days — and his employer, World Wide Travel of Greater New York, came under fire in the report issued yesterday.
The company was described in harshly critical terms as one with a “corporate culture that fostered indifference to passenger safety” and would be too much for any Wisconsin Rapids Workers Compensation lawyer.
The federal agency is proposing strict new rules for bus companies that would include mandatory equipping of buses with devices to limit the speeds of the vehicles. Bus companies would also be required to obtain and examine a decade’s worth of driving records from people applying for bus driver positions.
In March of last year, the bus driver in the crash was pushing his vehicle along at an unsafe clip 28 miles per hour above the 50 mph speed limit. He lost control of the tour bus traveling back to New York City from a Connecticut casino. The speeding vehicle rammed a guard rail and then turned over on Interstate 95, its roof torn from the bus body.
Of the 32 people on board, 15 were killed and the others all suffered injuries.
The driver told officials he’d been forced off the interstate by an 18-wheeler, but the NSTB found little evidence backing his claim. The driver has been charged with manslaughter in the case.
His driving record over 20 years included 18 license suspensions, according to media sources.