Greyhound camera footage will be part of safety board’s investigation of I-70 crash

A federal transportation safety official said Thursday it will take investigators one to two years to complete their report of the Greyhound bus crash that killed three men when the bus collided with tractor-trailers parked on the exit ramp to an Interstate 70 rest area near Highland on Wednesday.

“Our investigations are very, very thorough,” said Tom Chapman, a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, during a news conference at the Illinois Department of Transportation office in Collinsville. “They take time. We want to get it right, not fast.

“And sometimes I know folks are frustrated by the length of time it does take us to complete an investigation, but that’s the reason for it.”

A preliminary report is expected to be released in one or two weeks, but may not include much more than has already been reported.

Chapman said if investigators realize they need to make “emergency recommendations” before the entire investigation is completed, they will do so.

“Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened and to recommend changes to prevent it from happening again,” Chapman said.

The Greyhound had video recorders facing outward and inward, Chapman said, and the bus manufacturer is processing that equipment.

Investigators will seek to determine the cause of the crash and how the parked trucks on the exit ramp to the Silver Lake Rest Area on westbound I-70 and the bus driver’s fitness were involved in the crash, Chapman said.

“Human performance” along with bus, truck and highway factors will be reviewed as part of the investigation, Chapman said.

Chapman also said the agency is reviewing “similar circumstances involving parked” vehicles outside a rest stop in Oregon in May. Seven people died when a tractor-trailer hit another semi and a van parked near a rest area on Interstate 5. Everyone who died was in the van.

In the Madison County crash, Chapman the Greyhound bus was manufactured in 2014 and apparently had seat belts for the 22 passengers on board. Federal law has required seat belts on buses built beginning in 2016, he said.

Earlier Thursday, the Madison County Coroner’s Office released the names of the three bus passengers who died:

  • Bradley D. Donovan, 47, of Springfield, Illinois

  • Buford Paya, 71, of Supai, Arizona

  • Juan E. Vasquez-Rodriguez, 34, of Passaic, New Jersey.

All three men suffered blunt trauma and were pronounced deceased at the scene, according to a news release from Coroner Steve Nonn.

A final cause of death will be released after toxicology tests are completed.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay to have Vasquez-Rodriguez’s body flown to Peru.

Illinois State Police has said at least 14 others on the bus were injured. This includes the driver, according to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1700. Authorities have not released the medical conditions or names of the injured victims.

Chapman said the National Transportation Safety Board does not have regulatory or law enforcement powers and the federal investigation is parallel to Illinois State Police investigation.

State police investigators have not announced any charges in connection with this crash.

Witnesses or persons with information about the crash are asked to call the national board at 866-328-6347 or send an email to