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Bus-microbus-car crash now under investigation

Date Posted: 2011-07-21

Uruma City Police are investigating an accident that caused minor injuries to 13 elderly citizens.

A Ryukyu Bus Kotsu vehicle was traveling its route in Akamichi in Uruma City at 11:05 a.m. last Wednesday when it crashed into a microbus that was stopped on Prefectural Road 75, and then propelled the microbus into another car.

Police say the bus was traveling its regular route, but had no passengers when the 54-year-old driver struck the microbus promoting a health facility. Thirteen people in their 50s ~ 70s were injured slightly in the crash. Police say the accident occurred on a straight stretch of four-lane highway during a light rain. They say the bus was on its way to Agena in Uruma City from Okinawa City when it struck the car and microbus that had stopped because of other traffic. Neither the driver of the bus or car was injured.

Police are investigating whether the accident was caused because the bus driver was failing to watch the roadway properly; they’re considering charging him with suspicion of operating a vehicle and accidentally inflicting injuries. A route manager for Ryukyu Bus’ Gushikawa office says “tires skidded and locked when suddenly the bus braked”, apologizing because “we recognize the accident was serious,” and promised the bus company would conduct training to insure its drivers are better trained.

The bus company official acknowledged that the bus driver involved in the accident had also caused an accident in November of last year, when he crashed into a car while driving his bus on the regular route. At that time, the driver was given an education course lasting three days. Officials say the driver had more than ten years experience with both Ryukyu Bus and another company.

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