Two women are dead and 48 others injured, some critically, after a New York City-based tour bus on its way to Washington D.C. crashed and rolled over on U.S. 13 in Delaware Sunday afternoon.
Authorities responding to the crash said that none of the 50 people aboard the AM USA Express bus escaped injury. Delaware State Police said Idil Bahsi, 30, of Istanbul, Turkey, died last Sunday at a Wilmington hospital. The other fatality was Hua’y Chen, 54, of New York City, who was pronounced dead at the scene after being pinned underneath the overturned bus.
The crash injured three people critically. The remaining passengers and driver were listed by various hospitals in conditions ranging from serious to good. Hospitals treating some of the patients reported trauma including head trauma, traumatic brain injury, neck injury, and cracked ribs.
Both the Delaware State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash, which occurred on a sharp, tight curve of U.S. 13 that has a history of accidents involving vehicles traveling too fast.
“On the rural exit, southbound traffic leaves the high-speed highway and makes a teardrop-shaped loop to head north,” the (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal reported.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data, AM US Express has a fleet of four buses and two minibuses or vans. The company employs seven drivers and has one crash on record in the last two years.
The passengers were taking a three-day tour of Washington D.C. arranged by E World Travel of New York City. They were headed back to New York City at the time of the crash.
The crash occurred as the federal government considers introducing stricter safety standards for commercial passenger bus design and safety. In July, the NHTSA, which has been vocally critical of the FMCSA’s regulatory failures, proposed structural improvements for all new buses that would increase the chances of surviving in a rollover crash and ensure that emergency exits work in crashed vehicles.