Map showing location of March 12, 2011 motorcoach accident


Event Type: Motorcoach Accident

Location: New York, NY

Date: March 12, 2011

Preliminary Report

On Saturday, March 12, 2011, about 5:45 a.m. eastern standard time, a 1999 Prevost motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York LTD (World Wide Travel), collided with a roadside barrier, resulting in 15 passenger fatalities and 18 injured. The motorcoach was returning from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City. At the time of the crash, the motorcoach was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, the New England Thruway, in New York City. In the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right and crossed over the 11-foot-wide paved shoulder into the barrier.

Following the initial impact, the motorcoach traveled about 480 feet while rotating about its longitudinal axis. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a support pole for an overhead bridge sign used to display guide signs and other regulatory signs. The vertical support pole was located about 5 feet from the edge of the pavement. Impact with the pole was directed through the vehicle's windshield, along the base of the passenger windows. The impact resulted in the vehicle's roof panel being detached from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus.

The motorcoach driver stated that a truck-tractor semitrailer encroached into his lane, striking his vehicle. A truck driver subsequently identified himself as a witness to the accident. NTSB investigators interviewed the truck driver and conducted a focused examination of the combination vehicle, including taking dimensional measurements of the truck-tractor and semitrailer. No evidence was found that would correspond to a potential area of contact between the bus and the combination vehicle. Therefore, in consultation with the New York State Police, the combination vehicle was released on March 22, 2011.

Except for the driver's seat, the motorcoach was not equipped with seat belts. The motorcoach was equipped with a video camera mounted in the lower right corner of the left windshield facing forward, out the front of the bus, but the system was not designed to record video information and was not operating at the time of the accident.

The engine of the motorcoach was equipped with a Detroit Diesel Electronic Control module, series IV (DDEC). The purpose of the DDEC is to control engine performance based on sensor inputs, and it also records limited data. NTSB investigators in Washington, DC, downloaded the DDEC data on March 18, 2011. These data are currently being analyzed and correlated with the physical evidence.

The DDEC recorded data for the period starting approximately 1.5 minutes prior to the accident until the bus came to rest. The data show that the bus was traveling at a range of speeds during that time. Approximately 45 seconds before the accident, the bus was traveling at its maximum governed speed of 78 mph. Its speed had decreased prior to the accident.

World Wide Travel is based in Brooklyn, New York, and provides services such as charter trips, tours, and line runs. The company operates 35 motorcoaches and employs 40 full-time and 35 part-time drivers. The line runs are conducted through contract with Mohegan Sun Casinos; the company makes 14 round trips daily between the casino in Connecticut and New York City. World Wide Travel began operating in 1989. The company received a "satisfactory" rating in its most recent FMCSA compliance review, September 30, 2008.

Media Contact: Peter Knudson, 202-314-6100