The recent accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan has called renewed attention to the dangers of being a passenger onboard buses. Morgan was traveling in a Mercedes Sprinter bus at the time of his accident, which occurred at 1:00 in the morning on the New Jersey Turnpike following a comedy show that he had performed in the state of Delaware. In addition to injuring Morgan and several others on board, the accident killed comedian James McNair. Initial reports indicate that the vehicle was struck from behind by a tractor trailer and then overturned.
In many cases, the specific design of buses can lead to them turning over easily, and passengers frequently ride without benefit of seatbelts, making injuries more likely. Celebrities often travel in these vehicles because of the comfort and amenities that they offer while allowing others the responsibility for driving. There have been a number of celebrities and their associates who have ended up being seriously injured or even killed while driving in buses.
In September of 1986, the heavy metal band Metallica was traveling on a tour bus in Sweden when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it ran off of the road. Bassist Cliff Burton was thrown out of the bunk that he was sleeping in when the bus crashed, and was killed as a result of the incident. Burton was the only person who sustained serious injuries in that incident.
Renowned singer Gloria Estafan was traveling on a tour bus on a highway near Scranton, Pennsylvania in March of 1990 when, like Tracy Morgan, her bus was struck by a tractor trailer. The singer was seriously injured, suffering a fractured spine that required the implantation of two titanium rods in order to stabilize her vertebral column. At the time of the accident Estafan was traveling with her husband and son, but neither was injured.
On two separate occasions, tour buses associated with the singer Miley Cyrus have been in serious accidents. In one case in November of 2009 the bus carrying the singer’s crew ran off the road, killing the driver and injuring nine people on board, while in March of this year another bus carrying her mother and sister burst into flames. Neither was injured.
In November of 2013, a tour bus that was transporting country music legend Willie Nelson’s band crashed into the pillar of a bridge outside of Sulphur Springs, Texas. The singer was not on board at the time.