Parkway Bus Tragedy: Bus driver speaks out about Megabus crash on the Parkway
The medical examiner's office has identified the fourth victim of Saturday's deadly bus crash on the Onondaga Lake Parkway. Deanna Armstrong, 18, had recently moved with her family, to Voorhees, New Jersey. She was en-route back to Syracuse to visit with friends. The investigation into the cause of the crash continues. As our Bill Carey reports, investigators have finally gotten a chance to talk to the driver of the bus.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. -- It is a route that John Tomaszewski, 59, of New Jersey told sheriff's investigators he has driven at least 20 times since July; leaving Philadelphia, heading north to Syracuse and a stop at the Regional Transportation Center. However, for reasons he cannot explain, this time, there was a problem.
“It appears that he missed the turnoff onto Park Street and ended up going directly out onto the Onondaga Lake Parkway,” said Kevin Walsh, Onondaga County Sheriff.
Tomaszewski is telling investigators he was following instructions from his GPS. What he apparently wasn't doing was reading the signs, nearly a dozen of them, warning of trouble ahead.
“He didn't see them according to his statement and he didn't see the bridge,” said Walsh.
Tomaszewski says the bus was traveling at about 35 miles an hour. A passenger says it was more like 50. The bus company says data from the trip puts his speed below the speed limit on the Parkway. There was no sign of brakes being applied.
What followed was a simple case of physics, or in this case perhaps, mathematics; a bus standing nearly 13 feet tall meeting a bridge with a clearance of less than 11 feet.
“Just heard a big crash. I looked up to where the driver was and there was just a big cement wall there,” said Vicky Reed, passenger.
It was with the morning light that the true impact of the accident could be seen. Pulled from the wreckage, more than 20 injured. Also recovered were the bodies of four victims.
There is no indication of alcohol or drugs being involved. No indicator of more than traffic charges being lodged.
“We're meeting with the District Attorney's office the first part of this week. He will review the entire case and he'll determine whether there is anything additional,” said Walsh.
John Tomaszewski is among those still hospitalized.