A spokesperson for the San Jose Fire Department reported that two passengers died and numerous others were injured when a Greyhound bus driver fell asleep behind the wheel while northbound on the 101 earlier this week.
The bus, with at least 20 people aboard, flipped on top of the median dividers around 6:40 a.m., as it passed through San Jose on its way to points north. The impact sent the bus sliding into safety barrels. In addition to the two women who died, eight were transported to area hospitals, with at least one in serious condition.
Passengers witnessed the driver fall asleep. The man self-reported to investigating officers with the California Highway Patrol that he felt fatigued. According to one CHP officer, the driver grabbed a cup of coffee in Gilroy after stopping to drop off passengers. The fatal collision occurred approximately 30 miles to the north of that stop.
The bus driver started his shift the night before at 11:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. Stops included San Jose and San Francisco before ending the run in Oakland. A Greyhound spokeswoman stated that drivers were required to rest for nine hours between shifts.
The injured driver had to submit to having blood drawn to test for impairment, the CHP trooper said. An investigation is being conducted by the National Safety Transportation Board.
Commercial drivers who are responsible for the safety of their passengers and others must be especially careful to drive only when well-rested. Driving a bus or semi-truck when impaired or fatigued is a terrible breach of safety protocol and opens the companies and the drivers up to legal claims from the injured and the survivors of the deceased.
Source: New York Daily News, "Two women dead as Greyhound bus driver falls asleep at wheel during California crash; driver was 'fatigued,' police say," David Boroff, Jan. 19, 201