RUTHER GLEN, Va. (WUSA) -- Virginia State Police blame driver fatigue as the cause of a bus crash which killed four women and injured dozens of other people. Sources tell 9NEWS NOW some passengers spotted the driver drinking a Red Bull to keep alert.
Virginia State Police say the bus driver, Kin Yiu Cheung of Flushing, NY, was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The 37-year-old has been charged with reckless driving. He is being held on a $3,000 bond at the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.
The bus overturned along I-95 Tuesday morning in Caroline County. Police received the first call to the accident about 1/4 mile south of the Carmel Church exit around 4:55 a.m. Northbound 95 reopened just before noon. Traffic had been detoured to Route 1 for seven hours.
Southbound I-95 was not impacted.
According to Virginia State Police, 58 people and the driver were aboard the SkyExpress Inc. bus which left Greensboro, North Carolina at 10:30 p.m. Monday en route to Chinatown in New York City. SkyExpress, Inc. is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Virginia State Police say the four women killed in the crash have been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for identification. Once the individuals' identities have been confirmed, state police will notify the next of kin.
The other 54 passengers injured in the crash were transported to 11 hospitals in Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Hopewell for treatment. Their injuries range from minor to life threatening.
Some of those injured passengers say they were awakened by the crash as they were thrown from their seats. The ambulances rushed survivors from the bus crash to the only trauma center in the region, Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. Trauma Unit Director Dr. Larry Roberts says the critically injured patients are expected to survive, but they suffer from serious injuries to their head and spinal cord, which he says, "could lead to paralysis."
Despite language barriers, doctors were able to treat the adults quickly. One was rushed to surgery and one patient is in guarded condition for an injury that could get worse.
Doctors at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center just 10 minutes down the road were told they could receive up to 18 people from the crash Tuesday morning but only received 8. Amazingly, all the adult passengers were treated and released for minor bumps and bruises.
The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team's inspection of the bus ruled out any mechanical errors or malfunctions as a causative factor in the crash. The NTSB is also investigating.
SkyExpress has been involved in several accidents over the last two years and been cited for 46 violations for drivers being fatigued.