On March 12, a tour bus returning from a casino at daybreak scraped along a guardrail, tipped on its side, and slammed into a pole that sheared it nearly end to end, leaving a jumble of bodies and twisted metal along Interstate 95 on the outskirts of New York City. Fourteen passengers suffered fatal personal injuries.


The bus' driver said he lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a swerving tractor-trailer.


As many as 20 passengers were injured and received treatment at area hospitals. Police said eight of those injured were in serious condition. Several were in surgery later that day.


The crash took place shortly after 5:30 a.m., with 31 passengers still asleep. The bus scraped along the guard rail for about 300 feet, toppled, and collided with the support pole for a highway sign. The pole knifed through the bus front to back along the window line, peeling the roof all the way to the back tires. The majority of the passengers were hurled to the front of the bus by the impact, according to Chief Edward Kilduff of the Fire Department of New York.


According to New York state police Maj. Michael Kopy. The crash was being handled "as if it is a criminal investigation. He said the driver, 40-year-old Brooklyn resident Ophadel Williams, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and had blood drawn for analysis. He also said the police were working with authorities in Connecticut and with officials from the Mohegan Sun Casino to determine the driver's activities prior to the crash.

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