NTSB: No sideswipe in fatal NYC bus crash

April 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

NEW YORK, April 15 (UPI) -- Federal investigators said they found no evidence that a tour bus was bumped by a semi-truck before a New York city crash that killed 15 people last month.

A status report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators found no physical damage on the bus that might have been caused by contact with the truck. Investigators also interviewed the truck driver about what happened the morning of March 12.

The bus crash on the New England Thruway also injured 18 people. The bus, which was returning from a Connecticut casino, lost part of its roof after skidding and striking a pole on the side of the road.

The bus driver, Ophadell Williams, survived the crash and was not criminally charged. He was, however, named in a lawsuit filed by an injured passenger who contended Williams acted negligently by getting behind the wheel without enough sleep.

The NTSB report did not fix blame for the crash and said it was still under investigation.

A continuing task was analyzing a limited amount of data recorded by a sensor that monitors engine performance. Thus far, the data indicate the bus was traveling at 78 mph 45 seconds before the crash but speed decreased prior to the actual impact.

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