A recent crash in Litchfield, Illinois, involving a low-fare bus has left one dead and 47 injured. The bus accident will be under investigation for as long as two weeks but authorities are already reporting that the cause of the crash was likely a blown-out tire.
Several of the 78 passengers reported a blown out tire just before the double-decker bus crashed into a bridge pillar in the median of Interstate 55. According to reports, the bus was traveling at or around 65 mph when the driver lost control. The site of the crash was located about 55 miles northeast of St. Louis.
The initial investigation found no evidence of error on the driver's part and no other contributing factors that could have instigated the accident. There was no construction in the area, the weather was dry and no intoxicating substances were mentioned as being involved.
In addition to the 78 passengers, the driver and a second driver were onboard. Injured individuals were tossed about as the accident occurred and, according to reports, the front of the bus was severely damaged to the point that emergency responders used ladders to remove passengers from the windows of the upper level.
According to an official with Megabus, the company that owns the vehicle, each bus is given a routine maintenance check every 10 days. This bus, in particular, had received a review within the seven days prior to the crash. This check includes an examination of the tires on each bus.
The bus started its trip from Chicago and was traveling to St. Louis. The next stop would have been Columbia, Missouri, then Kansas City, Missouri. The person who died was traveling to Columbia. She was a 25-year-old graduate student at the University of Missouri.
Source: USA Today, "Blown tire likely caused deadly Megabus crash," Aug. 3, 2012