A tour bus overturned on a grassy area next to a northern Delaware roadway late in the afternoon on Sunday, Sept 21, 2014, leaving several dozen people injured and one woman dead at the scene. At least three of the injured parties were said to have sustained life-threatening injuries and are in critical condition at this time. Other reported injuries range from minor to serious, and all injured persons have been transported to several area hospitals where they are currently being treated.
The bus did not collide with another vehicle, and at this time it is uncertain what caused the bus to overturn. Investigators have stated that the bus was on a curving off ramp at the time it tipped over and landed on the driver’s side in the grass next to the roadway. The accident took place on Red Lion Road in Bear, a town within Delaware’s New Castle County.
Witnesses stated that there was a communication barrier due to many of the bus passengers being tourists who spoke languages other than English as their primary language. Injured passengers were clearly in distress, but not all were able to convey the nature of their injuries when inquired due to the language barrier. One witness was reported to have rushed to the scene of the accident with a first aid kit in order to help the injured people until first responders arrived on the scene.
People who observed the aftermath of the crash said that the scene was one of total chaos, with people bleeding from their injuries and shouting for help. Many were unable to exit the bus of their own volition, remaining trapped until help arrived. The woman who lost her life in the crash has not been identified, but she is said to have become stuck on the bus after it overturned. A total of 49 people sustained injuries in the accident. There has been no word as to how many passengers total were on board at the time of the accident.
It is unclear where the bus was en route to at the time of the accident, nor is it known where the bus was traveling from. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation by Delaware State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.