One person died and nine others suffered serious injuries after a charter bus crossed an interstate median in Benson, North Carolina (NC), during the early morning hours of August 2, 2015. The fatal crash occurred at the interchange between I-40 and I-95, and investigators believe the charter bus driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.
The deceased victim was a passenger in a car that the out-of-control bus forced off the road and into a stand of trees. The driver of that car, as well as two children riding in the smaller vehicle, also sustained injuries. Four passengers aboard the bus got injured, and the driver of the charter bus that had set off from New York City to Fayetteville, NC, was critically injured. It is unclear whether the bus driver will face criminal charges.
The deadly crash happened at around 4 am, but news reports do not indicate how long the bus driver had been on duty. Federal and state laws tightly regulate hours of service for interstate bus and truck drivers specifically to prevent tragedies like this one in Johnson County, NC. Fatigued, or drowsy, driving, can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, sleeping and nodding off commercial drivers have been found at fault for such previous high-profile and fatal collisions as the one that left comedian Tracy Jordan with permanent brain damage and the one outside Richmond, Virginia (VA), that killed four.
All drivers must pull over, or even not get behind the wheel at all, when they are in danger of falling asleep. Failing to make responsible choices about rest puts lives at risk needlessly.