World Wide Tours bus crash

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World Wide Tours bus crash
Time 05:30 EST
Date March 12, 2011 (2011-03-12)
Location Interstate 95, Bronx, New York
Deaths 15
Non-fatal injuries 17

The World Wide Tours bus crash took place on March 12, 2011, resulting in the deaths of fifteen people.

The crash took place before dawn at about 5:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the New England Thruway segment of Interstate 95 at the border between The Bronx and Westchester County, New York. The bus was returning to Chinatown, New York City from Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The bus swerved and collided with a metal sign pole, which ripped through the bus and tore off most of its roof. Thirteen passengers died at the scene, a further two died at hospitals, and the remaining 17 people on board, including the driver, were injured.[1]

Cause of the accident[edit]

Conditions of the crash[edit]

Some surviving passengers have said that the driver, Ophadell Williams, fell asleep at the wheel. He was not charged initially, pending investigation.[2] Williams said that he was awake and sober at the time of the accident.[3] The bus driver blamed the accident on a tractor-trailer that he swerved to avoid, causing the bus to flip on its side and crashed into an overhead highway sign which split the bus in half. He said the two possibly hit each other.[4]

The crash triggered an investigation by the New York State Police and National Transportation Safety Board.[5]

Preliminary NTSB findings[edit]

A preliminary report by the NTSB in April 2011 found that the bus was going 78 miles per hour (126 km/h) at the time of the crash, 28 faster than the posted 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) speed limit. The report found that the bus had been exceeding the speed limit on I-95 45 seconds before it veered off the highway. The report said that there was no evidence of contact between the bus and a passing truck, as claimed by the driver.[2] The truck driver was located by authorities, denied the bus driver's account and was cleared of responsibility. State officials revoked the bus driver's driving privileges after reports became public of Williams’s criminal record, which includes having served time for convictions of manslaughter and larceny.[2][4]

Prosecution of Ophadell Williams[edit]

The driver, Ophadell Williams, was charged by the Bronx County District Attorney's office with 54 felony and misdemeanor counts, including charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter.[6] Williams was held in custody from September 2011 until the end of his trial, because he was unable to meet the $250,000 bail requirement.[6] On December 7, 2012, the jury found Williams not guilty of all charges except one count of misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Debusmann, Bernd (14 March 2011). "Bus driver in deadly New York crash faces scrutiny". Reuters. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Mcgeehan, Patrick (16 April 2011). "Casino Bus Was Speeding Just Before Crash, Investigators Say". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Mcgeehan, Patrick (24 March 2011). "Bus Driver in Bronx Crash Says He Was Sober and Awake". The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Candiotti, Susan; Ross Levitt (14 March 2011). "Truck driver denies he caused deadly N.Y. bus crash, source says". CNN. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Police, NTSB probe hit-and-run claim in NY bus crash". Reuters. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Driver in Fatal Bus Crash Found Not Guilty of Manslaughter, The New York Times, December 7, 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°53′12.35″N 73°48′40.59″W / 40.8867639°N 73.8112750°W / 40.8867639; -73.8112750