Authorities continue to investigate the cause of a deadly shuttle bus crash in Virginia last week that left a Chinese tourist dead and 15 others injured, including three critically. The bus rolled over after leaving the roadway, trapping some passengers underneath and inside the bus.
The crash occurred about 5 p.m. June 14 on the George Washington Parkway near the first President’s Mount Vernon estate. Investigators said the bus, which was hauling about 18 people including the driver, crashed head-on with another smaller vehicle. They have not said what specifically happened or who may have been at fault.
Citing the manager of a Shanghai-based tour company, the Shanghai Daily reported that a small vehicle traveling in the opposite direction moved into the oncoming lane in an effort to pass vehicles. The report said the passing vehicle collided with the front wheel of the bus, causing the driver to lose control and flip.
Police identified the passenger killed as 62-year-old Youfen Zhou of Jiangsu Province in China. Two other women, ages 62 and 35, both of Shanghai, were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia where they remain in critical condition.
At least a dozen people stopped to lift the bus back into upright position so that the trapped passengers could escape. According to ABC News, the Good Samaritans treated some of the wounded passengers before emergency personnel arrived at the scene. According to the Washington Post, four U.S. Coast Guard members were able to lift the packed shuttle bus back on its wheels in an act lauded as heroic and even miraculous.
Police said the bus driver tested negative for alcohol and drugs. It is standard procedure to test bus drivers after vehicle crashes whether or not they are believed to be at fault.