Bus Involved in Deadly Crash: Comes As Bus Safety Getting More National Attention

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM EST

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A fatal accident in eastern Allen County comes as the nation is focusing on tougher safety standards for the bus industry.

A bus was involved in the fatal crash Saturday at State Road 101 and Dawkins Road.

The bus was not at fault, but Congress is looking to enact basic safety standards for motor coaches, in light of some troubling bus crash developments across the country.

Stanley and Mary Hines of Greenville Ohio, both 77 years old, died Saturday when their Cadillac blew a stop sign on State Road 101 and struck a tour bus.

"Excursions Trailways" had nothing to do with the crash, but the president of the company said the scenario Saturday is a bus driver's worst nightmare.

Tom Bazow/Excursions Trailways President: " Sometimes when you're traveling through the country, through cities, you're trying to anticipate what might happen, you're looking down the road. As you can see by the size of the coach, to make a quick maneuver can offset the balance of that coach, because there's a high center of gravity. So, quick maneuvers can actually put the coach over on its side."

USA TODAY recently reviewed records and news reports, citing that the number of fatal bus accidents nationwide has been under-reported by the government dating back to 1995.

The newspaper says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data suggest that motor coach crashes and fatalities have surged in recent years, while the number of highway deaths overall has fallen 25 percent since 2005.

At least two people died and eight others were injured Sunday in upstate New York, when police say a flat tire on a tour bus caused the driver to lose control.

Meanwhile, the driver of another commercial bus faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter, after he crashed in Virginia, killing four people and injuring 53 others.

Investigators blamed the accident on driver fatigue.

Last week, Greyhound came out in support of bus safety legislation proposed in Congress that would create basic safety standards for motor coaches, following several high profile bus fatality incidents.

This issue hits close to home for this area.

Within the past few years, two people died in Fort Wayne when a car plowed into a tour bus carrying the popular Christian rock band “Mercy Me”.

Also, five members of the Bluffton University baseball team and their driver died when the bus they were riding on went up an interstate exit ramp by mistake in Atlanta, vaulting off an overpass into lanes of traffic below.




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