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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 03:50 PM

Megabus from Chicago crashes into I-55 overpass

As many as 20 ambulances and four medical helicopters have been sent to the scene of crash this afternoon involving a double-decker Megabus bound from Chicago on Interstate 55, state police say.

State police say the bus, carrying 81 passengers, had a flat tire and lost control and hit an overpass pillar near Litchfield, about 60 miles north of St. Louis.

It was not known how many people were hurt or how badly. Television footage from the scene showed emergency vehicles surrounding the bus and crews on ladders reaching inside the smashed front end of the bus.

At least one person could be seen being wheeled on a stretcher to an ambulance, while others were being tended to along the roadside. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-megabus-from-chicago-crashes-into-i55-overpass-20120802,0,536199.story

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Reply Megabus from Chicago crashes into I-55 overpass (Original post)
marmar Aug 2012 OP
xchrom Aug 2012 #1
frazzled Aug 2012 #2
auntAgonist Aug 2012 #3
frazzled Aug 2012 #6
auntAgonist Aug 2012 #8
malaise Aug 2012 #4
auntAgonist Aug 2012 #5
xmas74 Aug 2012 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 04:59 PM

2. Those things are deathtraps

The buses are in poor mechanical shape; the drivers are poorly trained. I used to think they were a good idea, but I now believe they are too risky to take.

Regulators in the states in which these buses operate need to really clamp down hard on this company (and some of the Chinatown buses) for safety inspections and training regulations. I'm not sure if the federal government is involved ... but possibly, since the routes include interstate travel.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 05:31 PM

3. I've thought about using the MegaBus. Do you have some facts or links you could direct me to ..

regarding what you say about their drivers and safety/mechanical records?

I see the buses all the time on I-94 here in MI. Travel would be cheap to Chicago. Some I've spoken to have had no complaints.

I'll watch for your reply.



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Response to auntAgonist (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:09 PM

6. Facts (and anecdotes)

Here's some of the official facts:

On September 1, 2008, a Detroit-bound M1 coach was pulled over by Michigan State police after officers noticed the bus swaying and speeding outside Benton Township, MI. Megabus driver Kenneth Lewis failed sobriety tests administered at the scene and was arrested. Lewis was found to have a blood alcohol level of .07, well above the .0015 limit for commercial bus operators. A replacement driver was brought in to bring the 30 passengers to their final destination. It was the first drunk driving incident in Coach USA history. Lewis was suspended from Coach USA.
On December 10, 2009 at 3:20 a.m., a Toronto-bound M24 coach slid off the New York State Thruway, 3 miles past exit 49 in Lancaster, New York, just east of Buffalo. Eight passengers and the driver were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries. Poor visibility, blowing snow, high winds combined with an unsafe lane change contributed to the accident.
February 23, 2010, around 5:00 p.m., Megabus driver Shervyle Pruitt struck and killed Wesley Krueger in Chicago, IL. Pruitt, 45, received citations for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and reckless driving.
On September 11, 2010, around 2:30 a.m., a Toronto-bound M34 double-decker coach missed an exit to the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center, slammed into a railway overpass carrying the St. Lawrence Subdivision along NY Route 370 two miles farther away. Four passengers were killed---all in the front of the upper deck, which was crushed into the lower deck in the crash---and 17 others were injured.
On October 21, 2011, at 10:08 p.m., a Megabus driver from Chicago, Carl H. Smiley, was arrested by an Iowa state trooper for drunk driving while transporting passengers from Chicago to Iowa City and Des Moines. The trooper pulled the driver over for failing to maintain a lane. Police records stated the driver “smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage and admitted he had been drinking.” The driver also failed a field sobriety test.
On August 2, 2012, a St. Louis-bound M5 service Megabus coach with 64 passengers slammed into a concrete bridge pillar on I-55 near Litchfield, Illinois. At least one passenger was killed.

According to federal records, since August 2007, Chicago hub drivers have been cited 54 times by police: 21 times for not maintaining driver logs, 20 times for speeding, three times for following too closely, 2 times for improper lane changes, and 2 for windshield violations. There were 6 other violations of local laws. Also, New York hub drivers have been cited 29 times by police: 14 times for speeding, five times for not maintaining driver logs, two times for failing to obey a traffic control device, two times for defects (windshield cracked and other), and 1 time for falsifying a log book. There were 5 other violations of local laws. There have been four other accidents involving Megabus vehicles.

The safety of curbside bus services came under scrutiny after a 2011 crash in New York caused 14 fatalities. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a six-month study and found that while bus travel was considerably safer than by car, curbside buses had seven times the fatality rates of traditional bus lines.


The rest of my opinion of this company comes from personal anecdotes from several people I've known. These weren't accidents, but mechanical breakdowns followed by poor service. My son, for example, had to attend a wedding in Michigan and took the Megabus rather than the train from Chicago. The bus broke down on the highway in the middle of nowhere and the driver dropped everyone off at a roadside motel, saying they could get another bus later. Five hours of waiting later, no bus had come, and no one from the office was offering any help. Eventually, after many calls from many stranded people, a bus came. My son missed the rehearsal dinner and got to his hotel in Ann Arbor well after midnight. He swore he'd never take it again: wasn't worth the cheaper fare. He took the train back.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:32 PM

8. thank you very much. I really appreciate you doing this. I'm going to have to re-think driving my

car instead of taking the bus.

That's some really scary documentation. I'm surprised the regulators haven't clamped down on them. I pass one every day on I-94 on my way to work in Ann Arbor. I think I'll give them a wide berth.

thanks again

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 05:32 PM

4. Watching on ABC news now

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:10 PM

7. It's all over the KC and Columbia,MO news.

The person killed was an international student attending Mizzou, originally from India, according to KOMU Channel 8.

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