The bus driver of the passenger bus that crashed on the Interstate 95 this Wednesday is being investigated by state police to determine his role in the cause of the accident. All 24 passengers on the bus were injured in the accident, with no fatalities. State police suspect that the driver may have fallen asleep before the accident occurred, and are planning to interview the passengers to determine the events immediately preceding the crash.
The tour bus, owned by Brooklyn based tour company Star Tag, crashed at around 6.20am on the Interstate 95 on its way back to Queens from Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Star Tag has been accused of four incidents of bus driver fatigue in the last year.
According to local police, the driver of the bus was found lying on the road outside the bus after the accident. He was critically injured and remains in a critical condition in hospital. Investigators are still attempting to determine how he landed up outside of the vehicle. It is unclear whether he was ejected during the accident or if he left the vehicle voluntarily before losing consciousness.
Sergeant Kevin Flynn of the State Police Department reported that the bus seemed to have smashed into a guardrail at the interstate. Speed may have played a role in the accident. As yet, no charges have been filed against the bus driver or the tour bus company, but the police are planning to interview the passengers to determine whether the driver had fallen asleep.
Emergency personnel found the bus driver lying on the side of the road 150 yards away from the bus. He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx and remains in a critical position.
According to eye witness reports, the bus initially hit the median guardrail on the highway and then slid along the side of the guardrail for a few hundred feet. None of the 24 passengers had serious injuries, and were taken to Jacobi Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries.
Star Tag has recently been cited for a number of safety violations and incidents thought to be caused by driver fatigue. The latest such incident was on February 4th, when the company was cited for driver fatigue, inadequate emergency exits and lights that were not working during a routine roadside inspection.
Star Tag representatives have yet to comment on the incident. Star Tag has a rating of satisfactory on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.