Greyhound Bus Crash Near Highland, IL Leaves 3 Dead, 14 Injured

A July 12 Greyhound bus crash on I-70 near Highland, IL has left three people dead and 14 with serious injuries. Killed in the crash were Juan E. Vasquez-Rodriguez, 34, of New Jersey, Buford Paya, 71, of Arizona, and Bradley D. Donovan, 47, of Springfield, Illinois.

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The bus carrying 30 people was heading westbound on I-70 traveling from Indianapolis to St. Louis. The crash occurred just before 2 a.m. when it collided with three semi-trucks parked on the shoulder of the off-ramp for a rest stop. The impact tore away the right side of the bus. “The side of the bus opened up like a can opener,” passenger Edwin Brown, 22, of Friars Point, Mississippi told the St. Louis Dispatch.

Brown was roused from sleep when he felt the bus vibrate 12 or 13 times as it passed over rumble strips moments before the crash. Upon impact, he flew forward, and shards of glass entered his mouth before his head cracked into a seat, he told the paper. He climbed out of the bus through the massive hole and helped others to safety. Then, with the help of one of the truck drivers, he turned off the bus as the bus driver was falling in and out of consciousness, according to the Dispatch.

Semi-truck driver David Cherno told KMOV and the Associated Press that he was asleep when the crash occurred. When he realized what had happened he got out and helped passengers get out of the bus and ran to get his fire extinguisher when the bus’s tires caught fire.

Greyhound crash near Silver Lake I-70 Rest Area Westbound
Google map of Silver Lake Rest Area Westbound Exit on I-70

The bus was part of Greyhound’s BoltBus division. That fleet, which includes 1,046 vehicles and 1,132 drivers, has been involved in 69 crashes in the past two years, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation report.

Greyhound Statement

Greyhound has issued the following statement on the crash:

“We can confirm an incident occurred this morning involving Greyhound schedule number 1675 traveling from Indianapolis to St. Louis. Multiple passengers, including our driver, have been transported to the hospital. Our primary concern is ensuring we care for our passengers and driver at this time. We are working closely with local authorities and a relief bus is on the way for passengers.”

14 People Injured

The bus driver was one of fourteen on the bus who were injured. Four of them were airlifted from the scene, ten were transported to area hospitals via ambulance.

The semis were parked on the shoulder because all of the parking spots for trucks in the rest area were occupied. This is a common practice in the trucking industry, but not a legal one in Illinois.

NTSB Opens Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation that is expected to take about a week, according to a spokesperson. The focus of the probe will be on safety with the aim of determining the probable cause of the accident and any contributing factors, the spokesperson said in a briefing.

NTSB photo of Greyhound crash
Source: NTSB

Experienced Accident Attorneys

Our team of bus accident attorneys can help you get the money settlement if you were injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a Greyhound bus accident. We will focus on your legal case so that you can focus on recovering. If you were injured or a loved one was injured or lost their life in a bus accident, contact our attorneys today.

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