Four killed in Virginia tour bus crash
The tour bus ran off Interstate 95 in Virginia.
May 31st, 2011
10:09 AM ET

Four killed in Virginia tour bus crash

Four passengers aboard a commercial tour bus died and an undetermined number others were injured early Tuesday when the vehicle overturned on I-95 in Caroline County, Virginia, according to state police.

The bus ran off the right side of the road and overturned about a quarter-mile from the Carmel Church exit, according to Corinne Geller, public relations manager for the Virginia State Police.

Injured passengers were being taken to hospitals in Fredericksburg and Richmond, Virginia, Geller said.

Police have not named the tour company or the itinerary.

The accident happened before 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. As of 7:30 a.m., state police had closed the northbound lanes of the interstate while accident investigators examine the scene, she said.

The northbound lanes were expected to remain closed until mid-morning, according to police. Southbound lanes were not affected, Geller said.

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Filed under: Travel • Virginia
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Alien Watcher

    @Ross, yes I have woke tired, but when you are in charge of a lot of people, you do not have the luxury to wake tired. If it is just yourself, OK, but not if the buck stops with you. I agree with Torak, because I was on a Greyhound once and the driver started to nod off, & I went and started to talk to him. My point is, if you are responsible for other peoples lives, you DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY TO BE TIRED. Period. If you are tired, swallow your pride, and pull over. Tour buses are usually under a time constraint. They should have two drivers. They should have a place for the second driver to be able to sleep comfortably, and if the first starts to get tired, wake the other. Again, it has to do with making money. To hire an extra driver will cost more money. The company will more than likely pay the damages, and move on. In my book, it all amounts to pride, selfishness, greed, speed, and a lack of love for your fellow human being.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      Again, I agreed with the pull over part of your statement. All I'm saying is speed had nothing to do with this accident. Everyone is quick to jump the gun and say speed was the factor. This was an early trip and while everyone on that bus had the luxury of sleeping, the driver didn't. He should have pulled over. People clearly haven't read the statements behind the cause of this particular accident. Everyone is posting about other tours or trips they were on where speed was a factor. That's not the case in this particular incident.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. itsjustme

    I think this is the same bus that was on its way to Chinatown - our local news station just reported on the accident.

    I know of a ski club that chartered a bus that went from NYC area to Mt. Snow in Vermont....in 4 hours. How frast was that *%&# driver going?????

    May 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Crystal

    According to my friend that was on the bus (who I now know is apparrently doing well, just sore and swollen according to the doctors) the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

    May 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RecentBusRider

    What tour bus is on the road @ 5AM with passengers on board?????? I just back from a tour, driver was the best, but we didn't leave any place before 8am.

    May 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      these Chinatown busses run around the clock. Really, it's most ppl's alternative to Greyhound if you're heading to/from NYC.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      To the comment from RecentBusDriver....ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!!!!!!!! Did you really say what you just said? Just asking !!

      May 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • us too

      Yesterday, our tour had 2 drivers...switching drivers after 7 hours at a hotel where the other stayed. We had an official tour guide along with chaparones sitting at the front of the bus all the while keeping reasonable company with the driver with google map searches and relavent weather information, etc...(not yacking it up). We were very fortunate; at one point, someone in a small car not paying attention ran us right off the road!!! It was a very very scary close call, OUR DRIVER WAS HEROIC!!! Other drivers please pay attention as well please!!! Witte Travel uses awsome drivers!

      May 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Crystal

    She got on the 9:30pm scheduled bus that ended up leaving at about 10:30pm from Greensboro, NC on her way to Chinatown in NYC which is the bus' last stop.

    May 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MikeeMike

    Company is Sky Express out of North Carolina.,hideous safety record from what I am reading.,

    May 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paqrat137

    Not to generalize, but as a resident of the DC-NYC corridor, I hear too many complaints or horror stories about what are known as "Chinatown buses", so many so that I will not ride one. When there is a crash on the Garden State Pkway to A.C.. it is sometimes a "Chinatown bus". This accident was also one of them. We have many different buses from my cioty, lines that have been operating for years/decades, aside from Greyhound/Trailways. On none of these do I hear about accidents like this and they go to NYC, Boston, A.C. many times a day.

    I have got to wonder whether this type of accident is not endemic to the "Chinatown buses". No accusations, but too many coincidences.

    And yes, buses on the interstates do go very very fast and they do tailgate. More control of them is needed like the control of our OTR drivers. And seat belts would be a very very good idea. They have them on first class motor coaches in Mexico, why not here?

    May 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mare0568

    RecentBusRider: I don't know what type of bus you rode/ride but just this morning, my daughter and several of her Senior classmates boarded a bus at 5 am and left close to 5:45 for their Senior Trip to DC and surrounding areas. Luckily, the driver seemed quite awake, was checking the outside of the bus, inside of the bus, etc., as he was waiting for all student's arrival. They left from upper Pennsylvania and were to DC by 11:30 am. These accidents are horrifying - especially for me today, of all days, but again I don't know what type of bus doesn't leave until 8 am unless it's one of those old people/retirement bus trips (no offense).

    May 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      I live near D.C. Without allowing for construction, rush hour traffic and food stops, the trip from Scranton to D.C. is about 4:15. It sounds like your daughter is riding with one of the safe companies. You can also let her know she should insist that the driver slow down if he/she is speeding or tailgating (a good reminder now that she'll be riding with a lot of young drivers). I hope that gives you a little peace of mind, and that she enjoys her trip.

      May 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Roger Roger

    Before making a tour bus reservation, find out the arrival and destination times and run the time traveled through maps.yahoo, google earth, or something similar. You'll get a good idea of whether the bus is planning to drive at the limit or reach warp speeds.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. unkown

    my brother and my god mother was on this bus, this is soo freaking sad, i should have looked at the safety ratings, we should know that asians can't drive, not being funny no offence intented

    May 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ccajuste

    This is very sad, my friends visited me in Florida and two were on this bus, one is ok and we hear nothing from the other. my friend said the bus driver was sleeping, she is now out of the ICU and in a hotel arranged by the salvation army, still no word from our other friend. please pray for her family

    May 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jazzzzzzzz

    Yes, I could never understand why there are NO seat belts for kids, but the Bus Driver has one! HELLO.

    May 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ex bus driver

    all bus companies should have digital drivers logs with this drivers are unable to driver over their legal hours. truckers already have this and they transport goods and bus companies lack this and they transport priceless cargo(human beings).

    May 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • thegreatpumpkin

      electronic logs will make the highways much safer,i have one in my truck. i hated it at first,love it now though,before to long it will be mandatory per DOT.

      May 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Safety Sam

    Thank goodness everyone was wearing their seatbelts. (if they weren't, the news would have reported it just like they do for other accidents) Safety First!

    May 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. i agree

    Yep elogs have allowed me to "in your face" to my dispatch and several shippers/receivers. .

    May 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
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