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Driver in New Jersey Turnpike bus accident dies

It happens to many of us while driving on New Jersey Highways: we are driving the speed of traffic when we have to abruptly slow down to respond to stalled traffic. While most of us are able to stop with minimal efforts, distracted drivers may end up rear-ending the cars in front of them. While these fender benders are common, the stakes are raised when bigger vehicles are involved.

Last Wednesday the New Jersey Turnpike was backed up around Exit 8A in South Brunswick. A tour bus carrying 55 people was unable to stop in time to respond to the stopped traffic and the bus driver slammed into a semi-truck. That truck then lurched forward into another truck and jackknifed on the highway according to New Jersey State Police.

The bus accident caused over a dozen people on the bus to suffer from personal injuries and killed the 52-year-old bus driver who had to be extricated from the bus. The bus driver and two others were flown by emergency crews to Robert Wood Johnson University hospital and 14 other bus passengers sustained minor personal injuries ranging from broken bones to bruises.

Images of the wreck depict a crumpled bus near the side of the massive jackknifed semi-truck. Traffic was also backed up for several miles.

This accident is one of a series of bus accidents to strike the New Jersey area this summer. Although some of these accidents are attributable to poorly maintained buses operated by unscrupulous out-of-state companies, the bus company that operated this bus was well regarded. This accident serves as a reminder of the importance of driving slowly and cautiously on area highways. The accident also demonstrates that even companies with great safety records can sometimes have serious bus accidents.

Source: New Brunswick Patch, “Bus Driver from Turnpike Accident Dies,” Davy James, Aug. 26, 2011

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