Driver charged in VA tour bus crash
New York Daily News
Greg B. Smith and Corky Siemaszko
The driver of the tour bus that crashed early Tuesday morning just north of Richmond, VA killing four and injuring more than 50 has been charged with reckless driving after officials said he fell asleep at the wheel. Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, from Flushing, NY is being held on $3,000 bond. A state police spokesman said the bus flipped on its roof after running off Interstate 95 and hitting an embankment around 5 a.m. Tuesday. The injured passengers were transported to Fredericksburg- and Richmond-area hospitals. Cheung, who was wearing a seat belt, was the only person on board who did not need medical attention; he sustained minor bumps and bruises.
The bus disembarked from Greensboro, NC late Monday night and was headed to New York City and a stop in Chinatown. Owned by Sky Express Inc. of Charlotte, NC, the Richmond Times-Dispatch – citing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration statistics – reported that the company has a spotty inspection history. Sky Express performed worse than 97 percent of all passenger bus companies within the last year and 99.7 percent worse in the last 24 months in the “Driver Fitness” category. Also, Sky Express scored worse than 77.80 percent of all bus companies within the last 12 months and 86.2 percent worse in the last 24 months in the “fatigued driver” category, FMCSA reports show.
This recent deadly crash is another in a series of accidents this year that have shined a critical light on the tour bus industry, the lack of monitoring of tour bus companies and those they hire. Just last week Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that more than 3,000 surprise passenger carrier safety inspections over a two-week period in May had resulted in 442 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from the roadways. For more, visit www.nydailynews.com.