American Scene: New York tour bus crash sends 24 to hospital

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NEW YORK

NEW ROCHELLE — A casino bus careened out of control outside New York City on Wednesday, sending 24 people to the hospital with minor injuries and recalling a collision last year that killed 15 casino-goers just two miles up the road, authorities said.

It appeared the driver had been going too fast for the wet conditions, said New York State Police Sgt. John Maasz. The bus company, Star Tag Inc., has received four citations for unsafe driving in the last two years and every recorded inspection resulted in vehicle maintenance violations. Most recently, in May, authorities caught one of its motor coaches going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The bus was on an early morning route from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut to Chinatown in Queens when it struck a center median barrier on Interstate 95 in New Rochelle, veered right over three lanes, then slid about 500 feet along an outer barrier before stopping.

Charges were not immediately filed, pending an investigation, Sgt. Maasz said. Of the 24 people on board, the driver, who was ejected from the bus, was the most seriously injured. All were sent to hospitals, but none had serious injuries.

The accident happened about two miles south of the site of the March 2011 crash that killed 15 people on a bus bound for New York City’s other Chinatown - the one in Manhattan. At that time, about 30,000 Chinese New Yorkers were boarding discount buses traveling from Chinatown to casinos each week.

HAWAII

State fines Navy $80K for hazardous waste

PEARL HARBOR — Hawaii’s health department has cited the U.S. Navy for hazardous waste and used oil violations.

The state Department of Health said Tuesday it issued a violation notice with an $80,000 fine against the U.S. Navy Public Works Center Makalapa Compound in Pearl Harbor.

Health officials say the base yard compound violated the state’s hazardous waste and used oil rules by disposing of corrosive waste and solvents in the trash instead of handling them as hazardous waste. Another violation involves storing hazardous waste paints and fuels in open containers.

The violations were discovered during a route inspection in August 2011.

Navy Region Hawaii spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan said the Navy has taken corrective action, provided refresher training, and increased internal reviews to ensure compliance.

The Navy has formally requested a hearing to contest the violation notice.

FLORIDA

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