NTSB: Excessive speed likely caused fatal Delaware bus crash
Excessive speed and lack of traffic signs warning of an approaching curve were likely the causes of a 2014 tour bus crash in Delaware that killed three people and injured dozens, according to a federal report released Friday.
Speed caused the driver to lose control of the bus as he negotiated the curve, the report by the National Transportation Safety Board said. The tightening radius of the single-lane ramp from State Route 1 to U.S. Route 13 in New Castle and the lack of warning signs contributed to the crash, the report said.
The bus, returning to New York after a three-day sightseeing tour to Washington, crashed and overturned on Sept. 21, 2014, in northern Delaware. The bus slid on its roof down a grass embankment and came to rest on its left side. Forty-nine passengers were aboard.
Hua’y Chen, a 54-year-old woman from New York City, was found under the bus and was pronounced dead at the scene. Idil Bahsi, a 30-year-old woman from Istanbul, Turkey, died that day at a hospital; Jyostina Poojari, 43, of Mumbai, India, died several days later.
The Delaware Department of Transportation has since installed new traffic signs on the access ramp, including a truck rollover warning, the NTSB said.
Driver Jinli Zhao, 57, of Flushing, New York, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of operating a vehicle causing death. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 29.
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