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asleep at the wheel 8 articles

Fatal Bronx bus crash driver on trial for manslaughter

The driver involved in a horrific 2011 bus crash on a Bronx, New York, highway that left 15 people dead and several others injured is on trial facing manslaughter charges. A prosecutor told jurors that Ophadell Williams, 41, was a professional bus driver with years of experience and should have known better than to drive a busload of passengers while in a fatigued state. The March 12, 2011, crash happened on Interstate 95 at daybreak as Mr. Williams was driving a busload of passengers to Manhattan’s Chinatown from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn. The bus crashed just feet ... Read More

Simple new test may help identify drivers at risk for sleep apnea, fatigue

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health are evaluating a new testing and screening method that may help identify commercial drivers at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleeping disorder that has been found to cause fatigue and slow reaction times. Lead researcher Stefanos N. Kales says the test, which comes in advance of a federal sleep apnea testing requirement, is “extremely promising as a potential, 10-minute frontline check for sleepiness” that can be administered at federally mandated professional drivers’ licensing exams. An abstract in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which published the ... Read More

Two commercial truck drivers and third motorist die in South Carolina crash

The drivers of two tractor trailers and another motorist were killed Saturday morning on a stretch of Interstate 85 in Anderson County, South Carolina, after one of the commercial trucks, traveling in the southbound lanes, veered over into the northbound section of the highway and struck another 18-wheeler head on. The horrific crash injured at least two other motorists and left hundreds stranded for hours in sweltering mid-day heat. According to South Carolina State Troopers, 69-year-old Eddie Wyatt of Rockmart, Georgia, was driving southbound when his truck, bearing a “U.S. Mail Contractor” insignia on its door, veered across the highway ... Read More

Maine logging truck rollover kills 5-year-old asleep in house

There is no doubt logging trucks have a bad reputation. Anyone who lives near a timber operation or along a route heavily traveled by logging trucks has heard stories about poorly secured logs coming loose on the highway and causing horrific crashes. Seldom, however, do we hear of crashes as incomprehensible and tragic as the fatal logging truck crash last Tuesday that killed a 5-year-old boy who was asleep on the couch in his house. The Bangor Daily News reports that commercial driver Christian Cloutier, 57, of Quebec, Canada, fell asleep behind the wheel of his logging truck while driving ... Read More

Two Bronx bus crash survivors sue, driver said to be speeding excessively

The driver of the World Wide Tours bus that crashed on I-95 in the Bronx March 12 was driving nearly 80 mph on the 55-mph interstate, transportation authorities said. The violent crash occurred when Ophadell Williams, the bus driver, lost control of the vehicle and toppled it, sliding on its side into a road sign. The signposts tore the roof completely off at the window line, killing 15 passengers and injuring many of the 17 others on the bus. Two of the crash survivors, Yuke Chue Lo, 74, and Erold Jean Marie, 53, have filed lawsuits against Mr. Williams and ... Read More

Survivors of horrific NY bus crash feared driver was falling asleep or distracted

A horrific bus crash that claimed the lives of 15 people and injured several others may have been caused by fatigue or distraction, some passengers and other witnesses have told authorities. The bus, owned and operated by World Wide Tours of Brooklyn, New York, was traveling east on I-95 with 31 passengers when it swerved off the interstate and crashed about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The crash killed 14 people on the scene. A 15th passenger died from his injuries this morning, while three others remain on life support. Several others remain in St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx where they ... Read More

Task force says sleep apnea is serious threat to truck drivers

A task force of medical professionals is calling for better screening procedures for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among drivers of commercial trucks and busses. The sleep disorder, which is characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, can cause extreme drowsiness and fatigue in waking hours and is known to be prevalent among commercial drivers. In 2002, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Trucking Associations sponsored a study that found nearly one in three commercial truck drivers suffered from mild to severe OSA. In addition to sleeplessness and fatigue, the condition can cause acid reflux and other ... Read More

18-wheeler causes multi-vehicle pile-up in Virginia

The operator of an 18-wheel semi truck has been cited for reckless driving after causing a multi-vehicle traffic accident in Virginia on Monday. According to authorities in Carroll County, Virginia, 46-year-old Marco Tulio Carta Jena of Morgantown, North Carolina, crashed his rig into other vehicles that had become backed up along I-77 as another accident further up the interstate was being cleared. Investigators say that the driver was not paying attention to the road when he collided with the other vehicles. Authorities at the scene said that the driver ran into the back of another tractor trailer and a tanker ... Read More