A hit-and-run collision on Virginia's Eastern Shore that left a pedestrian dead may point to ongoing problems in the budget interstate bus business. The fatal crash occurred before sunrise on March 31, 2015, in the town of Parksley, VA. According to state police, who took the at-fault bus driver into custody later in the day, the victim had been crossing the roadway known locally as Lankford Highway, mostly likely to get to a Perdue plant for work. The driver did stop briefly but left the scene without getting out of the bus and fully investigating whether he had hit a person or an animal.
A spate of deadly accidents involving discount charter buses serving New York and Boston during 2011 called attention to poor training, unsafe work schedules that did not allow drivers time to sleep and poorly maintained equipment in that sector of the travel industry. Despite strengthened state laws and federal regulations, news of preventable tragedies involving low-cost interstate buses continues to surface.
It is too early to know whether the driver of the Vanhool Charter Bus hit the man in Parksley because he had fallen asleep behind the wheel or if the at-fault driver sped off in order to keep a tight schedule. What does seem clear is that paying more attention or exiting the bus to check for an injured pedestrian might have saved a man's life.
A charge of violating the "duty of a driver to stop in the event of an accident involving injury or death or damage to attended property" has been filed. However the criminal proceedings reach resolution, the wording of the relevant law itself stands a reminder to everyone that they have legal and moral obligations to check on possible victims of traffic accidents.