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July 4, 2012

NY tour bus crash sends 24 to hospital

The Associated Press

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — A casino bus crash outside New York City sent 24 people to the hospital with minor injuries early Wednesday, and investigators were trying to figure out what happened.

The bus, traveling from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut to Queens, lost control while heading south on I-95 in New Rochelle just before 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, state police said. It struck a center median barrier, crossed back over three southbound lanes, then slid about 500 feet along an outer barrier before stopping.

There were 23 people on board, and police said everyone, including the driver, were sent to hospitals, but none had serious injuries.

Investigators were trying to determine what caused the bus to lose control. No charges have been filed.

The accident happened not far from the site of a deadly casino bus crash that killed 15 people last year.

A message left for a Foxwoods representative was not immediately returned. It's not clear who was driving the bus or if it was contracted to separate company.

The Wednesday morning crash comes about a month after government safety officials swooped down on more than two dozen curbside bus operations that mostly ferry passengers in the busy East Coast transportation corridor, closing them for safety violations in the largest single federal crackdown on the industry.

The crackdown was prompted by fatal accidents in New Jersey and Virginia last spring and the March 2011 New York crash, in which the bus flipped onto its side and struck a pole.

Last year's New York City crash was probably caused by the driver suffering too little sleep and a bus company that provided too little oversight, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The driver, Ophadell Williams, was charged with manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty. His attorney has said his client is not responsible for the accident.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Federal regulators shut down the bus operator, World Wide Tours of Greater New York, after the accident.