Double-Decker Bus Driver Was Using GPS When He Hit Bridge Near Syracuse

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Posted on 17th September 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Driver distraction has been a hot topic this year, and it may be to blame for a double-decker bus crash that killed four people in central New York last weekend.

Authorities said that bus driver John Tomaszewski, 59, of Yardville, N.J., was using his own GPS device before his Megabus hit a low railroad bridge early last Saturday morning in Salina, a suburb of Syracyse, in Onondaga County, according to the Associated Press.  

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gMBEIoWGH5H-X-VHY-Oc70YNv8SwD9I8IPE80

The bus driver, who sustained a head injury in the accident, told officials that he listening to the audio on his GPS when his 13-foot-1-inch high bus failed to pass through bridge’s low span, which was 10-feet-9-inches, AP reported.

Tomaszewski’s actions were against his bus company’s policy. Coach USA, which operates Megabus, doesn’t allow its bus drivers to use any GPS device while driving. Each bus does have its own GPS system, so that the company can track it, but that device isn’t supposed to be used by drivers for directions.

The double-decker bus had departed from Philadelphia on Friday en route to Toronto, with stops in Syracuse and Buffalo. It had 29 passengers including the driver, who made a wrong  turn off an interstate highway and then hit the bridge.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is investigating the accident.

The fatal crash in Salina was not so unusual for the Empire State. There has been a spate of trucks hitting overpass in New York. 

That prompted New York Gov. David Paterson, according to AP, to propose a bill last October that mandates that large commercial trucks use GSP devices  to keep then routed away from low overpassses. But it wasn’t known if that bill included buses, or what the legislation’s statue is. 

  

Four Hurt When Church Bus Hits Pick-Up Truck In Palm Beach

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Posted on 13th September 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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 An accident where a church bus ran into a pick-up truck left four people injured, one seriously, in Palm Beach., Fla. 

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/4-injured-1-seriously-as-church-bus-hits-911655.html?cxntcid=breaking_news

The crash took place around 2 p.m. Sunday, at Federal Highway and South Eighth Avenue.  An occupant of the pick-up truck was taken by helicopter to Delray Medical Center, according to The Palm Beach Post. And another person who was in the truck was also injured.

There were 21 people on the bus, and two of them were hurt in the accident.

 

Four Killed When Double-Decker Bus Slams Into Bridge Near Syracuse

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Posted on 12th September 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Four people were killed when a double-decker bus hit a railroad bridge in New York State shortly before dawn Saturday. http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/officials-bus-crashes-near-syracuse-ny-4-dead/19629990

In addition to the fatalities, there were also several passengers seriously hurt in the Megabus accident. The bus had been loaded with 28 passengers as well as the driver. who authorities believe may have made a wrong turn off a highway.

The bus struck a bridge on the Onondaga Lake Parkway in the Syracuse suburb of Salina at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The bus was too high to make it through the low railroad bridge. 

The accident killed four people, three men and a young woman. Four others, including the driver, John Tomaszewski, 59, of New Jersey, were seriously hurt. The driver sustained head injuries, but was still able to speak to investigators.

The Megabus was coming from Philadephia en route to Toronto, with stops in Syracuse and Buffalo.