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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 05/31/2011

Bus driver arrested in fatal crash


Virginia State Police responded Tuesday morning to the scene of an overturned passenger bus on Interstate 95 in Caroline County, about a 1/4 mile south of the Carmel Church exit. (Virginia State Police)
6:50 p.m. Update: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an out-of-service order for Sky Express on Tuesday “for violating multiple federal safety regulations.”

The order from FMCSA, a division of the Department of Transportation, prohibits the North Carolina-based company from providing interstate transportation services, the agency said.

“Safety is our number one priority,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “We will use every resource at our disposal to pursue and remove from our roads unsafe, reckless bus companies.”

Officials said they “found multiple violations in the areas of driver qualification requirements, drug and alcohol compliance, hours-of-service and vehicle maintenance.”

3:25 P.M. Update: Authorities have charged the bus driver with reckless driving, according to Virginia State Police. Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of Flushing, N.Y., is being held on a $3,000 bond in Hanover County, police said.

Cheung suffered minor injuries in the accident, which killed four female passengers. Police were withholding identification pending notification of next of kin. The remaining 54 passengers were transported to 11 hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening, police said. .

According to state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller, the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team “has ruled out any mechanical errors or malfunctions” as a cause of the crash.

11:50 A.M. Update

Virginia State Police say that left and center lanes have been reopened.

11:10 A.M. Update:

Virginia State Police remain on the scene of the fatal bus crash in Caroline County, spokeswoman Corinne Geller said, and Interstate 95 northbound is closed.

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team of investigators to the scene, accompanied by board member Earl F. Weener.

“We’re sending a bunch of people down there,” said NTSB board member Robert L. Sumwalt, who recently chaired an NTSB conference on bus and truck safety. “The state will conduct the lead investigation and we’ll be doing a parallel investigation.”

Geller said the crash is being attributed to “driver fatigue.”

The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team is also at the site inspecting the bus for mechanical problems, police said.

Geller said the bus had departed Greensboro, N.C., at 10:30 p.m. and was en route to New York City’s Chinatown. The bus, operated by Sky Express Bus of Charlotte, N.C., had 58 passengers and one driver aboard, she said.

Four people are confirmed dead and dozens were injured, authorities said.

Traffic is being detoured from the interstate at Exit 98/Doswell, and returning to the highway at Exit 110.


A Virginia State Police cruiser sits in front of the aftermath of an early-morning bus crash that killed four people in Carmel Church, Va. (Jonathan Ernst - REUTERS)

8:40 A.M. Update:

I-95 North remains blocked in Caroline County after a fatal bus accident earlier this morning. Northbound traffic is being detoured at exit 98 in Hanover County, directed over to Route 1 and back to I-95 North at exit 110 in Caroline County.

The I-95 North lanes will remain closed through the morning rush. Drivers should avoid I-95 North in this area and expect delays there and on Route 1.

An accident in the 1400 block of P Street in Northwest Washington could cause delays there.

There’s more information on the bus accident after the jump.

8:20 A.M. Update:

I-95 North remains blocked in Caroline County after the fatal accident earlier this morning. While a detour has been set up, backups stretch back 10 miles from that spot, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

7:55 A.M. Update:

The usual delays are back in full force, with backups on I-395 North at the 14th Street Bridge, delays on the inner loop at I-66 and congestion on I-66 East at the Beltway.

7:30 A.M. Update:

A passenger bus overturned on I-95 North in Caroline County this morning, with four confirmed dead and multiple injuries, according to the Virginia State Police.

The fatal accident took place on I-95 North a quarter of a mile south of the exit for Carmel Church. The commercial tour bus ran off the right side of the road and overturned, winding up completely upside down.

The state police were called to the scene shortly before 5 a.m. The northbound lanes of I-95 remain blocked to allow teams to investigate the crash. Northbound traffic is being detoured at exit 98 in Hanover County, directed over to Route 1 and back to I-95 North at exit 110 in Caroline County. The lanes will remain closed through the morning rush.

(The bus was not a Greyhound, as some outlets reported this morning. The Virginia State Police confirmed it was not a Greyhound, but aren’t relesing the name of the bus company and its departure point or destination until family members have been notified.)

7:15 A.M. Update:

A disabled vehicle on the inner loop of the Beltway is blocking the left shoulder at I-66.

I-66 East is also very, very backed up approaching the Beltway.

7 A.M. Update:

I-95 North remains blocked in Caroline County after the earlier bus accident. There’s a detour in place at exit 98.

6:45 A.M. Update:

The accident on southbound MD 295 has been cleared and the lane reopened.

I-395 North is backed up approaching Seminary Road.

6:25 A.M. Update:

An accident on MD 295 South before Balwash Road is blocking one southbound lane and one of the shoulders.

An overturned bus is blocking I-95 North near King’s Dominion in Caroline County, reports WTOP. There is a detour at exit 98, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

I-95 North is jammed up around the Woodbridge area.

I-66 East is slowing down approaching the Beltway.

Original Post:

Good morning, commuters! Welcome back from the holiday weekend. With everyone presumably back at work and back on the road, this morning’s traffic and congestion should be back to normal.

We’ll be keeping tabs on any headaches, issues or problems we hear about on the roads this morning. Let us know anything you see out there — tell us in the comments below or via Twitter (@DrGridlock).

By and  |  11:25 AM ET, 05/31/2011

Categories:  Intercity Buses

 
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