2 dead, multiple injured after commercial bus crashes on I-95 in Virginia

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PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities say two people are dead and multiple others are injured after a commercial bus crashed on Interstate 95 in Prince George County Tuesday morning. 

The single-vehicle crash happened just before 5:30 a.m. near Crater Road. 

According to Virginia State Police, the Tao’s Travel Inc. bus overturned at the on-ramp for exit 45. The bus was headed north on I-95 when it attempted to take the exit ramp, and ended up running off the left side of the ramp and overturned.

One person died at the scene, while another person died a few hours later at a nearby hospital, according to state police. The remaining passengers’ injuries range from minor to serious.

State police said charges are pending against the bus driver — a 40-year-old male from Staten Island, N.Y. He was not injured in the crash. 

A Southside Regional Medical Center trauma doctor told 8News that nine passengers were transported to their hospital. The doctor also said that VCU Medical Center was the dispatch center for the initial call and organized how many patients each area hospital could treat at once.

Additionally, HCS confirmed 14 patients are being treated at Chippenham, 14 at Johnston Willis, three at John Randolph, one at Swift Creek ET and one at the Tri-Cities ER. 

Authorities have not released the identities of those involved, although VSP confirmed that the two people who died were adults. 

The bus — carrying 57 people, including the driver — departed from Orlando, Fla. It had stopped in Rocky Mount, N.C., to switch drivers and was continuing north to its final destination in New York City when the crash occurred, state police said. 

Family members of bus passengers are able to call the Prince George County Emergency Services Center at 804-733-2659 for information, state police said. A Family Reunification Center is also being established at the Prince George County Central Wellness Center at 11023 Prince George Drive in Disputanta, Va. 23842. 

According to online records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Tao’s Travel Inc. is based out of Middleton, Massachusetts. They received a “satisfactory” rating in early 2017.  

Records show the commercial bus company, which has four vehicles and eight drivers, had previously no major crashes. The last inspection was done in September. 

State Police couldn’t confirm if the crash was weather-related. Many areas across Central Virginia experienced dense fog and icy roads early Tuesday morning. 

The north exit ramp is closed, VDOT said, and the off-ramp from I-95 north to exit 45 is blocked.

Multiple emergency crews from Virginia State Police and Prince George County responded to the scene. A representative with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also on the scene and NTSB has been notified.

The VSP Motor Carrier Safety Team is helping with the crash investigation.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

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