Law enforcement officials are still trying to determine the cause of a fatal Greyhound bus crash on U.S. 101 in mid-January. Thus far, authorities have confirmed that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash, and that there were no apparent mechanical problems with the vehicle. A California Highway Patrol officer speculated that the likely cause was driver fatigue.
The accident occurred around 6:30 am on Tuesday, January 19, close to the connector ramp between Highway 85 and Highway 101. Witnesses say the bus was traveling northbound on Highway 101 in a steady rain when it struck safety barrels on the highway and turned on its side, coming to a stop in the center divider. Officials said there were no other vehicles involved in the crash. Two passengers were killed and 18 others were treated for injuries, including the driver of the bus.
A number of passengers on the bus said that the driver had stopped about half an hour before the crash to get a cup of coffee, saying he was tired. Some even suggested that the driver fell asleep at the wheel, but that could not be confirmed.
The bus left Los Angeles at 11:30 pm on Monday night, and had scheduled stops at San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. The driver apparently stopped in Gilroy to get a cup of coffee. Drivers are required to take at least nine hours of rest between shifts. Authorities could not confirm whether the driver had taken the mandatory time off.
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