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Accident Report Detail

Motorcoach Run-off-the-Road and Overturn

Executive Summary

At 2:56 p.m. on June 23, 2002, a 1998 Motor Coach Industries, 55-passenger motorcoach, operated by Arrow Line, Inc., a Coach USA subsidiary, was traveling eastbound between 60 and 63 mph on Interstate 90 near Victor, New York. The motorcoach, carrying 47 passengers, was en route from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, to Waterbury, Connecticut. As the bus approached the Victor Exit 45 ramp, the vehicle departed the roadway and proceeded into the depressed grassy area between the eastbound exit and entrance ramps. The motorcoach then struck a W-beam guardrail, dragged approximately 700 feet of the guardrail across the eastbound entrance ramp, vaulted over the entrance ramp roadway, landed on the south side shoulder of the entrance ramp, rolled 90 degrees onto its right side, and slid to rest. The guardrail dragged by the motorcoach then struck three eastbound vehicles on the entrance ramp. Three occupants of these vehicles were uninjured, and six received minor injuries. Of the 48 people on the motorcoach, 5 passengers were killed; the driver and 41 passengers sustained injuries; and 1 passenger was uninjured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was that the bus driver fell asleep while operating the motorcoach due to his deliberate failure to obtain adequate rest during his off-duty hours. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the second Arrow Line, Inc., motorcoach driver, who did nothing to prevent the severely fatigued driver from operating the accident motorcoach, and the failure of Arrow Line, Inc., and its holding company, Coach USA, to provide adequate oversight of their drivers. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the lack of occupant restraints for the motorcoach passengers.

Accident Location: Victor , NY    
Accident Date: 6/23/2002
Accident ID: HWY02MH025

Date Adopted: 6/22/2004
NTSB Number: HAR-04-03
NTIS Number: PB2004-916203