Cheryl Johnson, Cecilia Kiyanitza Dead in Woodbridge Twp, NJ Megabus Crash
UPDATE (August 11, 2022): The two victims who died in this accident have been identified as Cheryl Johnson, 59, and Cecilia Kiyanitza, 66.
Woodbridge Township, NJ — August 9, 2022, one person died and five people were injured when a Megabus overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge Township.
According to reports the incident happened just before 7:00 p.m. on the southbound turnpike near mile post 93.2 at the Thomas Edison Service Area. Preliminary investigation suggests only that a double-decker Coach bus operated by Megabus was headed from New York to Philadelphia. The driver reportedly "lost directional control" of the bus for unknown reasons and swerved into a nearby Ford truck, then ran off the road and overturned on a guardrail at the Thomas Edison entrance ramp.
Two passengers died in the crash. The bus driver and two other passengers were seriously injured, while 14 other passengers reported lesser injuries.
The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Megabus Crash on NJ Turnpike in Woodbridge Twp
Our laws hold commercial drivers to a higher standard than civilians, and some of the highest expectations of all are directed at bus drivers. After all, they're in charge of important and irreplaceable cargo--human lives. With that in mind, it's clearly crucial to find out exactly how and why this wreck occurred. Some might assume that's mostly a matter of waiting for the police report, but pinning one's expectations on that may not be the best course of action.
Over the years I've learned that authorities don't always have the experience, time, or equipment to thoroughly look into all the complexities of commercial vehicle wrecks. Even something as simple from the outside as an overturned bus can be a lot more complicated than it appears, and only experienced professionals tend to appreciate the importance of considering all the possible variables.
For instance: Was anything mechanically wrong or defective in the bus? Did a tire blow out or fail due to poor maintenance? Are the driver's health and driving records clear of any red flags? Was there something wrong with the roadway that made the driver lose control? Were any other reckless drivers involved that just left the scene? Did something happen inside the bus that distracted the driver? Did its safety equipment--seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls--work properly?
Those and many other questions need answers as the investigation continues, but without the proper tools and training many of them could slip through the cracks. That could further harm victims and families who, at the very least, deserve whatever facts and help they can get. Are proper steps being taken to ensure they have both?