Two Pittsburgh Port Authority bus drivers are will likely face criminal charges for causing a bus crash last month that destroyed one the of the vehicles and left one driver critically injured.
The Port Authority of Allegheny County bus drivers were allegedly “goofing off” and speeding alongside each other on Interstate 279 Sept. 22 before one the vehicles bumped the other one, sending it through a guardrail. The bus tumbled down a steep embankment onto a residential street below.
A Port Authority spokesman said that video surveillance from one of the buses showed the drivers gesturing to each other playfully as they sped along I-279. The buses had just left the depot and were on their way to pick up passengers when the crash occurred.
Thomas Frauens, 56, who was driving the bus that didn’t crash, stopped briefly but continued on his way to pick up passengers without reporting the incident.
Driver Juliann Maier, 46, of Ross, Penn., was taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. There were no passengers on her bus or the other one at the time of the crash.
“It looks like there’s a couple crimes that were committed. I expect charges,” District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. told TribLive News. “They were going pretty fast. I can’t say at this point that they were racing.”
According to Mr. Zappala, one of the buses may have been traveling about 70 mph or faster in a 55-mph zone. He told TribLive News that one of the buses was speeding in the upper 60s when the other bus passed it.
According to TribLive News, an attorney for Ms. Maier said evidence existed that her bus crashed because of serious mechanical defects.
The Port Authority and Pittsburgh police continue to investigate the crash.
On October 10, another port Authority bus struck and injured a man in downtown Pittsburg. Witnesses said the bus driver may not have realized the vehicle struck someone because it left the scene.