A survivor of Tuesday’s I-95 crash is now blaming the driver of the bus for the deaths of four people and his injuries.
“He just fell asleep, he just fell asleep and caused four deaths by not just pulling over and resting,” said Ben Johnson, a crash survivor.
The bus traveling from North Carolina to New York ran off the roadway Tuesday and overturned on I-95 in Caroline County, landing on its roof shortly before 5 a.m. Police say driver fatigue contributed to the crash. Besides the four dead, dozens were injured.
The driver, Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of Flushing, N.Y., suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. He has been charged with reckless driving and is being held on a $3,000 bond at the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.
Sky Express, the bus operator, has been prohibited from operating interstate transportation after the crash.
According to Virginia court records, Cheung has been charged nine times in the last eight years for violations in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax for speeding, failure to use seat belts, following too closely, failure to obey highway signs and stopping or yielding while entering a highway.
Virginia state police officials are looking into passengers’ accounts that Cheung was allegedly running behind schedule when driving the Sky Express bus when he lost control.
“He was pretty much swerving, using two lanes,” Johnson said.
While sky express must suspend all operations, federal authorities say this is the time to push for laws to allow spot inspections on budget motorcoach operators – something that can’t happen as it does with hauling trucks.
“It restricts our ability for enforcement to stop coaches roadside when they're having issues or concerns,” said Steve Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.