Buses operated by Megabus are a common sight around Chicago and the Illinois area, providing frequent transportation to cities around the Midwest. Today, one Megabus carrying up to 81 passengers left the road and crashed head-on into a concrete pillar supporting a highway overpass. The bus was on Interstate 55 near Litchfield at the time, making a run from Chicago through St. Louis and eventually on to Kansas City.
The bus accident required a substantial response from emergency personnel. Reports indicate that seven helicopters and 30 ambulances arrived to transport the wounded and injured victims away from the scene. A number of area medical centers received the passengers. While one hospital stated that none of the passengers admitted to its rooms had serious injuries, reports indicate that at least one person perished in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board may initiate an inquiry into the cause of the accident, but it has yet to make an official decision on that front. Police officers who responded to the scene said that it appeared that the bus had blown a tire, which may have been the event that caused the driver to lose control and crash into the bridge support.
Bus companies and other common carriers owe a high degree of responsibility to the passengers that use their services. The industry is heavily regulated and companies must abide by strict safety standards that relate to bus maintenance. An investigation may reveal whether the blown tire was an unavoidable accident or whether it could have been prevented through an inspection.
Source: ABC News, “Megabus Crash in Illinois: At Least 1 Dead, 20 Injured,” Matthew Jaffe, Aug. 2, 2012.