JOHNSON COUNTY (April 13, 2015) – More than a dozen people were taken to area hospitals after a Megabus crashed in Johnson County early Monday morning.
It happened on I-65 southbound near Edinburgh at the 83 mile marker. The crash happened around 5:30 a.m. State police said 19 people were injured, although none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening. Police say 12 to 15 ambulances were called to the scene.
"We were driving in the left lane and there was a semi parked up there in front of us and we were braking and we couldn't break fast enough and so she tried to swerve off but she didn't swerve fast enough I guess," said Rachel Stringer, passenger.
It appeared the Megabus rear-ended a semi truck, according to investigators. Traffic had slowed down in the area for a construction zone as construction vehicles moved from the right lane over to the median between north and south bound lanes. An Indiana State Police trooper was assisting at the time with lights flashing. Some traffic came to a stop.
State police said the driver of the Megabus, identified as Kimberly Lane, 50, Dolten, Ill., failed to stop and ran into the back of the semi, which had stopped in the left lane. The truck then collided with an SUV in front of it. The SUV was pushed into a gold 1999 Nissan. Police said there was a substantial amount of damage to the bus and the semi as a result of the crash. The left lane of I-65 southbound was closed for three hours for cleanup and investigation.
Of the 63 passengers on the Megabus, 19 were taken to area hospitals including Johnson Memorial, Columbus Regional, St. Francis and IU Health Methodist. The city of Indianapolis provided a pair of IndyGo buses to shuttle the remaining passengers--who were stranded--to a safe location. As is standard procedure, the driver of the Megabus submitted to a portable breath test, which came back negative and reinforced that alcohol played no role in the crash.
State police said the Megabus would be inspected later this week to see if mechanical problems may have been a contributing factor.
"By looking at any evidence at the scene such as skid marks and debris fields, we'll look at the mechanical part of the bus and see if there was any failures and then we'll make a determination about what actually caused this crash," said Trooper John Perrine.
The Indiana State Police Motor Carrier Division has conducted 19 inspections on Megabus from 2012 though the beginning of April.
The bus originated from Chicago and traveled through Indianapolis. The route would normally make stops in Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta.
Megabus released the following statement about the crash:
“Megabus can confirm that one of our vehicles travelling from Chicago, IL to Atlanta, GA was involved in an incident on the I-65 near Edinburgh, IN, at approximately 6.00 am today (Monday, April 13, 2015).
"Safety is our number one priority and Megabus is fully cooperating with the authorities with their investigation into the incident."
The crash marks the fourth Megabus crash in Indiana since October, when several people were injured after a bus crashed near Greenwood. On Dec. 20, one of the company’s buses tipped over near Seymour while on its way to Louisville. Ten days later, a Megabus was involved in a crash near Hammond.