At Least 25 Injured On Greyhound Bus, Driver Fell Asleep

A Greyhound bus carrying 42 passengers tipped over on an Indiana interstate on Tuesday, the AP reports, leaving more than 2 dozen injured. The Indiana State Police say that Darren P. Duke, age 46, likely fell asleep at the wheel while driving on I-65, 15 miles south of Gary. Details, inside…

The article says,

Duke, who was not injured, told investigators that he began his day in Indianapolis about 2:30 a.m. Eastern time, drove to Chicago and was on a return trip when the crash happened.

Witness Douglas Judy of DeMotte said he was driving north on the interstate when the bus crashed in front of him.

“The bus drifted right into the gravel and then fishtailed and overcorrected and then it hit the (center) wall,” Judy told The Times of Munster. “It was going at such a high speed it was airborne. I thought it was coming over the wall at me.”

Passenger Tara Robinson, 18, of Hobart said she was talking on the phone with a friend when the bus started swerving.

“All of a sudden I heard screaming. I looked up and the bus was out of control. Then all of a sudden we flipped. It was crazy,” she said.

Robinson and another passenger, Deborah Booth, 50, of Chicago, said passengers helped each other get out of the bus before emergency personnel arrived.

“Everybody just came together and helped one another,” Booth said.

The bus ended up on its right side, with its wheels against the concrete barriers in the highway’s median. The crash caused police to close all southbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, with northbound lanes remaining open.

Greyhound spokesman Dustin Clark said Duke has driven for the line for about 18 years, had a good driving record and did not exceed his federal limit of 10 hours behind the wheel within a 15-hour workday.

It will be interesting in the coming days to see if there were any drugs involved or a medical condition (besides being really tired) to blame for the driver taking a snooze while driving. We hope that Greyhound takes this opportunity to make sure that all their drivers are fit to be behind the wheel.


Dozens hurt when Greyhound bus tips over in Ind.
[AP]
(Photo: M3rcury)

Comments

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  1. This is really scary stuff, and I’m surprised that it doesn’t happen more often.

    The nasty bus wreck in Atlanta a few years ago is a great example – a driver fell asleep or wasn’t paying attention and four guys from the Bluffton College baseball team got killed.

  2. mike says:

    Is Greyhound taking this very seriously?

    @InfiniTrent: All-in-all, I actually expect this to happen more often now that people are using buses and trains to get to their destinations.

  3. RayDelMundo says:

    Take the bus and leave the sleeping to us.

  4. Sidecutter says:

    I know that area. Not far outside Chicago. He should have stopped at Exit 183 and gotten some delicious Boston Market. That would have either got him awake, or given him the Itis so bad he couldn’t have been awake to start driving again. Not sure which…

  5. dualityshift says:

    @RayDelMundo: Take the bus and leave the sleeping to us.

    Comment of the day! I nearly spit out a mouthful of Red Bull reading that.

  6. Fist-o™ says:

    @Sidecutter: Or, he could’ve stopped in at the LIONS DEN ADULT SUPERSTORE on exit 240! I always love to bring my family there. That and Krazy Kaplan’s Fireworks.

  7. timmus says:

    Greyhound spokesman said … he did not exceed his federal limit of 10 hours behind the wheel within a 15-hour workday.

    Yeah, but do you seriously think you can put him on shift starting at 2:30 am without consequences?

  8. blitzcat says:

    My greyhound looks like the picture constantly. Its like his feet are made of glass, or he just likes to bleed on things.

  9. @Sidecutter: LOL, I was thinking much the same thing, except my thoughts were along the lines, “Of all the places to have an accident, I-65 is definitely LAST on my list.” Especially right outside Gary. Although I suppose right inside Gary would be worse. :P

  10. BoomerFive says:

    @timmus: Well, yes, you should be able to expect that when you assign someone a shift to work that they would plan accordingly and get some rest.

  11. madrigal says:

    I hate people who yak on their phones while on the bus.

  12. turi319 says:

    which is why I want robot drivers, but no one listens.

  13. Brunette Bookworm says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: It’s not that close to Gary. More like Crown Point area which is pretty much the opposite of Gary.

    [nwi.com]

    I live in the next county over. Where it happened wasn’t a bad area but kind of weird he fell asleep there. There’s so much traffic and constuction in the area right now he had to be extremely fatigued to fall asleep after that.

  14. FatLynn says:

    @timmus: I can’t figure out who would want to board a greyhound bus at 2:30am. They are not exactly known for having stations in the safest possible locations.

  15. xnihilx says:

    Drove over I65 in Merrillville and saw it backed up coming back from lunch yesterday and wondered what happened. I figured it was a car accident. Just lucky no one was killed.

    @Eyebrows McGee: It’s not that close to Gary. More like Crown Point area which is pretty much the opposite of Gary.

    Though yes, they could’ve stopped for Boston Market or fireworks. I recommend the fireworks over the turkey. Of course Lion’s Den is great and Pilot usually has cheaper gas.

  16. starrion says:

    I hope to die in my sleep like my Dad who drove for Greyhound. Not screaming in terror like his passengers…..

  17. thegirls says:

    Love the photo!

  18. LiC says:

    They should also put seatbelts on their buses. It’s done in Europe – drivers had a co-pilot, ha ha, who checked to make sure all passengers were in their seatbelts.

  19. @mjane79: I’ve been driving (or riding) up and down I-65 for 30 years and I’ve NEVER seen it without tons of traffic and construction. :D

  20. MercuryPDX says:

    @thegirls: Thanks. That’s my greyhound Seven, recovering from a torn foot pad.

  21. lemur says:

    @FatLynn: It is a sad fact of life that some people have few options to get from point A to point B. Sometimes that involves taking the bus at insane hours in unsafe places.

  22. weakdome says:

    the greyhound in the photo appears to be both injured AND asleep.

  23. MercuryPDX says:

    @weakdome: He’s watching TV…. seriously. Change the channel and he looks up at you like “Ummm… I was watching that.”.

  24. ElizabethD says:

    Damn. I took Greyhound from NYC to Indianapolis a few years ago. (don’t ask)

    On my rare bus travels I’m always telling myself: “It’s OK to nap. The bus driver will take good care of us.”

    So much for that.

  25. Hehe, wow, and I was thinking of taking a bus to Indianapolis to visit mt girlfriend the other day, thankfully she picked me up instead. In fact, I’ve taken a greyhound bus down to indy before, the same line that the one that crashed took and last time there was a problem with the bus, but it got fixed within about 10 minutes or so. I’m supposed to be visiting her again soon (to apply for jobs down there) but I might not be taking the bus if the drivers are trained to sleep behind the wheel like that.

  26. jonworld says:

    Greyhound is as bad as the infamous Fung Wa Bus Lines, which makes trips from Boston to NYC. Fung Wa is known for their dirt-cheap bus fares but has a terrible safety record. The worst part is half their drivers can’t speak English so they don’t know how to handle an emergency.

  27. Jay Slatkin says:

    @MercuryPDX: Awwww. I noticed the flickr name and wondered if that was you. :)

  28. Ubik2501 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Construction? I went to college at Purdue and drove back up home to Chicago pretty regularly, and never saw THAT much construction. You want to see ridiculous construction, try the Bohrman (80/94) between Chicago and NWI. A full third of the expressway will be under construction at any given time, and it’s been like that pretty much ever since my family moved here in 1980.

    And sure, I-65 has traffic, but it all moves at 85mph. :D It’s such an incredibly boring stretch of road that I’m not entirely surprised the bus driver fell asleep, though.

    @RayDelMundo: Nicely done.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little surprised at the comments that one accident has changed some peoples opinion of the companies safety. One bad event does not change my opinion of the company. I’ll look at the company as a whole, and form my opinion from there. With a family of 5 it’s far cheaper for me to drive then travel by bus or airplane, however if I’m ever traveling alone the entire record of each method will be considered, not just one bad event.

  30. Squeaks says:

    I actually took a trip on the Megabus last week between NYC and Boston, and the driver definitely was trying really hard to not fall asleep. At one point, he pulled into a rest stop and announced that he had to go in and get a cup of coffee! I spent some of the ride watching him, seeing him rub his eyes, start nodding off a little, and doing some sort of eyelid exercise in the hopes of staying awake. Many riders seemed to share the concern, but we just didn’t know what else to do!