Feds investigate bus crash in Madison County. A look at other deadly motor coach wrecks

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected on the scene Thursday of a deadly Greyhound bus crash that occurred near an Interstate 70 rest area Wednesday in Madison County.

In a briefing Wednesday afternoon, officials with the NTSB said it was “too early” to know the cause of the crash, which involved the motor coach and three semitrucks parked along the exit ramp.

According to early reports, the semis were parked along the exit ramp when the bus made contact with them, leaving the Greyhound motor coach’s right side sheared off. The presence of the semis is one of the factor investigators will look into, Tom Chapman, NTSB member, confirmed Wednesday.

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The collision left at least three individuals dead more than a dozen injured, some of them seriously.

In statement, the bus company said, “We can confirm an incident occurred this morning involving Greyhound schedule number 1675 traveling from Indianapolis to St. Louis. Multiple passengers, including our driver, have been transported to the hospital. Our primary concern is ensuring we care for our passengers and driver at this time. We are working closely with local authorities and a relief bus is on the way for passengers.”

The NTSB did not immediately respond to a request for information on the frequency of deadly collisions involving motor coaches, but a 2012 report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine indicated that between 1999 and 2007, transit buses accounted for 33% of bus crashes with fatalities, trailing only school buses at 39%.

A 2011 report from the NTSB found that from the period between 2005 and 2010, crashes involving motor coaches averaged 1,003 per year, 32 of them fatal.

Here’s a quick look at some other deadly crashes involving motor coaches in recent years. The list is not comprehensive and does not include wrecks involving school buses.

Deadly crashes involving large motor coaches in the US

Nov. 19, 2020: A Brandeis University student is killed in Waltham, Mass., when a motor coach shuttle ran into a tree. Twenty-seven people were reportedly transported to the hospital.

Aug. 30, 2018: Eight people died along Interstate 40 in Thoreau, N.M., when a Greyhound bus headed to Phoenix, Ariz., collided with a semi. According to a report from the Arizona Republic, the semi experienced “tire failure” and crossed the median, colliding with the bus.

Jan. 19, 2016: Two bus riders were killed and 13 injured in San Jose, Calif., when a Greyhound bus overturned. The driver reportedly told investigators at the time he experienced fatigue while driving, but the investigation released later by the NTSB found the incident was the result of a lack of adequate markings along the highway, combined with poor weather conditions and visibility.

March 12, 2011: Fifteen people were killed and more than dozen more injured after a tour bus headed to Manhattan hit a sign stanchion on Interstate 95 in New York, ripping the top off the bus. An investigation by the NTSB cited speed, a lack of sleep and a lack of oversight as contributing to the cause of the deadly wreck. The driver was later found not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, though was found guilty on a lesser charge.

July 22, 2010: Six people were killed along Highway 99 in Fresno, Calif., when a Greyhound bus reportedly swerved to avoid another accident and crashed, falling down an embankment. The bus company was later found not at fault for the wreck by a jury in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported.