Map showing location of May 31, 2011 motorcoach accident near Doswell, Virginia


Event Type: Motorcoach Crash

Location: Doswell, VA

Date: May 31, 2011

Preliminary Report

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when a subsequent report is issued. On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, about 0455 eastern daylight time, a 2000 Setra motorcoach, operated by Sky Express Incorporated, was traveling northbound on Interstate 95 (I-95) in the vicinity of Doswell, Virginia. The motorcoach, which was occupied by a 37-year-old driver and 60 passengers, had departed from Greensboro, North Carolina, and was en route to New York City.

As the motorcoach approached milepost 103.5 on I-95, the vehicle entered and was traversing a left-hand curve when it departed from the right lane of the interstate. It crossed over a section of rumble strips and onto the paved right shoulder at an angle of approximately 5 degrees. The vehicle completely left the roadway and entered an adjacent grass embankment, where it collided with a 3-strand cable barrier. As the motorcoach traveled along the cable barrier, it began to move back toward the roadway, and it subsequently rolled 180 degrees to the right.

The motorcoach came to rest on its roof about 460 feet from the point at which it had departed the roadway. As a result of the accident, four passengers received fatal injuries. Except for the driver's seating position, the vehicle was not equipped (nor was it required to be equipped) with seat belts. The motorcoach sustained extensive damage to the roof and related support structures.

Parties to the investigation are the Virginia State Police; the Virginia Department of Transportation; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and Setra, the bus manufacturer.

Media Contact: Nicholas Worrell, 202-314-6100