The bus was carrying 16 students and three adult supervisors from the William Cullen Bryant High School, which is located in Queens, New York. The group was returning from a robotics competition in St. Louis, said CBS New York, and tipped over a ramp early Sunday morning, according to CBS 2.
The rollover occurred when the bus exited Interstate 70 eastbound in its approach to I-270 northbound in Columbus, CBS affiliate WBNS-TV, Columbus, reported. Of the group, 15 children and four adults were taken to area hospitals. All suffered minor injuries, said WBNS-TV.
Meanwhile, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative told WBNS the company operating the charter bus has never responded to three recent letters requesting a compliance audit, said CBS News. The bus company is believed to have been operating the bus under the name Platinum Magic Carpet Ride LLC, which was issued a warning by the State of Maryland over potential license revocation, said WBNS. Just prior to the crash, plans were underway for a mandatory inspection. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
A number of chartered bus crashes, many involving serious injuries and fatalities, prompted senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to co-sponsor legislation in 2011 to strengthen bus safety and improve driver training.
Just prior, the third crash in one moth involved a PRT Tour bus filled with 25 South Korean citizens traveling from Quebec to Boston. The bus rolled on a New Hampshire interstate highway and resulted in 17 injuries; five serious, necessitating hospitalization.
The first of the two bus crashes that prompted Schumer and Gillibrand occurred when a World Wide Tour bus traveling from Connecticut to Chinatown crashed, killing 15 people in New York City.
Two days later on, a discount tour bus crashed in New Jersey, resulting in two deaths, one was the driver, who was ejected through the front windshield, said Senator Schumer. Schumer noted that half of all motor coach fatalities in the ten years prior took place as a result of rollovers, with 70 percent of the fatalities involving ejection from the bus.
Also, in 2011, a bus driving from Chinatown to Atlantic City crashed; the driver was ejected and run over, said Senator Schumer.
Prior to those accidents, in August 2005, a discount tour bus traveling from Boston to New York burst into flames in Connecticut. In September 2006, another discount tour bus driving toward Manhattan crashed in Massachusetts; three people sustained injuries. In May 2007, a crash involving a tour bus on a trip from New York to Chicago resulted in two fatalities.