One person is dead and 38 have been injured after a serious Illinois bus accident near Litchfield. The Megabus crash happened yesterday afternoon when the tire of a bus blew out, causing it to careen out of control and hit a concrete overpass support.
“It felt like we were going to tip over,” a bruised bus passenger told reporters. She added that the bus driver “was trying to regain control, but slammed right into the giant concrete post.”
“I just heard the tire go out, felt the bus go to the median, and then I felt a sudden shock, like a huge jolt,” one male passenger said. “And I just came to and there were people in the aisle. Everyone had blood on their faces.”
The crash evoked a massive response from local authorities with dozens of ambulances and helicopters arriving to rush people to the hospital. Several individuals had to be extricated, including the 25-year-old University of Missouri graduate student who died in the crash.
This crash was also a traumatic experience for all of the family members and relatives of the bus passengers. WGN News interviewed the wife of one bus passenger, a veteran on his way to a marine core reunion in Kansas City.
“He called me from the bus and said ‘we just got into a major accident,'” the wife told reporters. “I could hear people screaming and crying, and he said ‘I have to go, I have to go, I have to help these people. They need my help.'”
The marine eventually continued his trip to the reunion after receiving treatment for a broken knee.
This is the seventh Megabus crash in the country in the past two years according to WGN News. Studies have shown that discount curbside buses are more likely to be involved in serious crashes than traditional bus services that use terminals.
There are many contributing factors to curbside bus accidents including driver fatigue, distraction and poor vehicle maintenance. It is unclear whether the tires of the bus were properly checked for wear and pressure before the bus left from Chicago.
Some bus passengers were still hospitalized today for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The 25-year-old graduate student who died in the crash was a native of India, and it is unclear whether her family has been notified of her passing.