Another Chinatown Tour Bus Crash Kills Two in New Jersey
By DNAinfo Staff on March 15, 2011 7:53am |
By Gabriela Resto-Montero and Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — Two passengers were killed and 41 others injured when a Chinatown tour bus crashed off the New Jersey turnpike Monday night, New Jersey State Police said.
The bus, operated by Pennsylvania-based Super Luxury Tours, was en route to Philadelphia from Chinatown when it went off the left side of the road, police said. The bus traveled through three lanes of traffic and onto a grass median before striking a concrete overpass support below a south-bound on-ramp, police said. Police received the first calls at about 9 p.m.
Trooper described the initial scene as "chaotic, with injured people everywhere," police said.
The bus's 50-year-old driver, Queens resident Wei Wang, was killed after he was ejected through the windshield and landed about 15 feet from the bus, police said.
Passenger Troy Nguyen, 20, of Pennsylvania, was also partially ejected through one of the driver's side windows and later died of his injuries, police said.
Two patients remain in critical condition and another in serious condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey, a hospital spokesman said. A third patient is in fair condition, while four others were treated and released, the spokesman added.
At least five other passengers were treated and released at other hospitals in the area, hospital officials said.
Police are still working to determine the cause of the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board has not initiated an investigation into the accident, but is gathering information about the circumstances of the crash to determine if there are any issues related to this weekend's deadly bus accident in the Bronx, an agency spokesman said.
Super Luxury Tours has a serious history of safety violations, and is on alert for unsafe driving, fatigued driving and driver fitness, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records.
The safety violations put the operator in the 99.6th percentile for unsafe driving violations, including speeding and disobeying traffic signals and was flagged by the administration for intervention.
Company buses have been involved in four crashes in the past two years, records show.
The New Jersey crash comes just three days after 15 passengers in another Chinatown tour bus were killed following a horrific accident in the Bronx on Saturday morning.
Ophadell Williams, 40, who was driving the bus operated by World Wide Tours, said he was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer before crashing Saturday. But authorities have not confirmed Williams' account and were looking at the on-board black box for clues about the accident.
Six people remained hospitalized at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx following Saturday's crash, though three female patients previously listed in critical condition were removed from ventilators and upgraded to fair condition Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said. The other three male passengers remain in critical condition.
A previoulsy unidentified passenger in his 50s has since been reunited with his family, the spokeswoman added.
The Philadelphia-bound bus that crashed Monday night had 45 people on board at the time of the accident, according to the Post. The passengers reportedly heard a loud bang before the bus careened out of control.
"We busted through a metal railing and drove through the opposite lanes into oncoming traffic," 21-year-old passenger Ashley Wilson told the New York Post.
With additional reporting by Patrick Hedlund