On Monday, a commercial bus travelling between New York’s Chinatown to Philadelphia crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike near East Brunswick, killing two people and injuring 40 others.
The bus accident came two days after another bus returning from to Chinatown from the Mohegen Sun casino in Connecticut crashed in the Bronx, killing 15 people.
According to police, the bus-owned by Super Luxury Tours of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-lost control while travelling southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike’s outer roadway around 9 p.m. on Monday.
The bus reportedly steered off the left lane onto the median, and struck a concrete overpass support near Route 18 interchange, causing the back of the bus to crash into the bottom of the overpass. After veering off to the right and going across three lanes, the bus hit a dirt embankment, coming to a stop.
The 50-year-old bus driver was reportedly thrown 15 feet after crashing through the windshield on the second collision. He was pronounced dead at the scene. One passenger, a 20-year-old man from Pennsylvania, later died of head injuries. All the other passengers were injured, two seriously so.
According to a spokesman for the State Police, the crash is still under investigation. It is known that the bus’ front-left tire blew out, but when exactly the blow-out occurred is not known.
Super Luxury Tours, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, has one of the worst driver safety records in the country. In the past two years, the company’s 16 drivers have been involved in four accidents, two of which caused injuries. Records show that, during that time, company drivers were cited for speeding 6 times, for failing to obey traffic signals three times, and for being unable to understand English on four occasions.
According to the Department of Transportation, Super Luxury Tours has a worse safety record than 99.6 percent of bus companies in the nation.
Source: nj.com, “Tour bus company in fatal N.J. Turnpike crash has among worst U.S. driver safety records,” 16 Mar 2011.