Police: Greyhound driver asleep before crash

No serious injuries in crash
June 3, 2008 3:57:11 PM PDT
Indiana State Police say the driver of a Greyhound bus lost control of the vehicle when he fell asleep at the wheel. No serious injuries were reported in the rollover crash on I-65 near Crown Point, Ind., Tuesday at 10 a.m.Forty-two people -- including the driver-- were on bus #1151 from Chicago to Indianapolis.

Twenty-nine passengers were injured. St. Anthony's Hospital in Crown Point, Ind., received 16 people, officials said. All but one man were treated and released; that man head injuries and will be kept overnight for observation

"We are taking all of the passengers to local area hospitals for examinations," said Lt. Larry Keiser, Indiana State Police.

"You couldn't tell much about their injuries because they were sitting or stretched out against the median, and the policemen who were there would not allow anyone to get too close to them at that point except for emergency personnel," said Tom Link, a truck driver who was in the area at the time of the crash.

The Greyhound bus had picked up passengers in Gary, Ind., and was headed to Lafayette, Ind., when it crashed on I-65 and 113th Avenue near Crown Point. Indiana State Police officials said the driver lost control of the bus when he fell asleep. The investigation into the one-vehicle crash continues.

"We are cooperating fully with the Indiana State Police on their investigation and we will conduct an investigation of our own. Our first priority right now is taking care of our passengers," said Greyhound spokesman Dustin Clark.

The driver is identified as Darren Duke, 46, of Indianapolis. He has 18 years of experience with Greyhound. He reportedly started working at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, seven and a half hours before the crash.

Passengers who were OK waited at St. Mary's Hospital in Hobart, Ind., for another bus to take them to their final destinations. Family members who need to check on their loved ones can call (800) 972-4583.

Weather does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

"It was clear and dry and no rain at that time. It's only now began to drizzle, and that's an hour later," said Link.

Motorists behind the bus found themselves suddenly at a stop for hours.

"We went up and helped a few people out of the bus. That was pretty much it, got them away from the bus because there was fuel," said motorist Dennis Battering.

"Just seen a cloud of dust and a bunch of brake lights. Everybody was coming to a stop. When we got up here, we seen the bus laying against a wall," said motorist James Sherlock.

"I still don't believe it. I thought it was a dream at first. I thought I just blacked out," said passenger Tara Robinson.

Robinson was on her cell phone when the accident happened. She ended up with injuries to her leg, arm and neck.

"Then I look up and the bus was like whoosh. Then I was on my back. My neck got caught. It was a bad thing," said Robinson.

"I reserve any judgment until they find out what happened," said Carla Jo Rael, Robinson's mom. "As a mom, you get pretty frantic about wanting to know who is responsible for driving your children or your family members somewhere."


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