Police said a tour bus carrying Asian visitors rear-ended a flatbed truck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in Pennsylvania (PA) on June 27, 2011. The crash claimed the life of the bus driver and injured nearly two dozen passengers, and "the name of the tour bus operator was not immediately clear," the Associated Press reported.
The driver became trapped after the accident, which occured close to the Donegal exit, 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, turnpike communications director Bill Capone told the AP. He said 22 of the 56 passengers on board reported minor or moderate injuries.
The crash has again raised safety fears about an industry already under scrutiny after a series of devastating accidents.
Our experienced Virginia mass transit lawyers have noted a number of major crashes involving tour buses since February. That's when a bus returning to Chinatown slid into a sign pole after a collision in New York City, leaving 14 people dead. And in May 2011, we reported on how the driver of a commercial tour bus that crashed May 31, 2011, on the I-95 in Caroline County, Virginia (VA), killed four people and injured 43. The driver, who is accused of falling asleep at the wheel, is facing manslaughter and reckless driving charges.
That tragedy prompted authorities to look closely at the driver and at SkyExpress, the operator of the tour bus that crash in Virginia. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an unsatisfactory rating for SkyExpress on the day of the accident.
The personal injury attorneys with our VA-based law firm are very concerned about this spate of accidents involving tour buses. While it isn't yet known if driver error or fatigue was a factor in the Pennsylvnia accident, these are clear areas of concern in the industry.
We hope the injured passengers make a speedy recovery.