TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A tour bus collided with a sedan from behind, killing all four passengers on Freeway No. 3 in Kaohsiung yesterday, after the driver failed to maintain a safe distance with the car, according to police.
At 8:40 a.m. on Sunday, while traveling in the southbound lane at the 382.6 kilometer mark of Freeway No. 3, a tour bus smashed into the rear of a silver sedan, causing the car to spin 180 degrees and badly crushing its frame, according to a CNA report. When police arrived on the scene, they found all four passengers still trapped inside the mangled vehicle, three of whom were not responsive, but the driver was still alive, and was rushed to Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital.
The car was driven by a 71-year-old woman surnamed Chen (陳) from Taichung, who was taking her 45-year-old son and his five-year-old grandson, along with a friend surnamed Liao (廖), 69, to pray at a temple in Kaohsiung, according to the report. Chen soon succumbed to her injuries at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital.
EMTs tend to one of the passengers of the car. (CNA image)
Though the 57-year-old driver, identified as Fan Chia-ho (范嘉和), claimed that he had been maintaining a safe distance, when Chen suddenly slowed and swerved toward the neutral area where two lanes diverged, it was too late for him to maneuver the bus out of the way and it collided with the car. Prosecutors are charging Fan with criminal negligence as they believe that he did not maintain a safe distance and failed to observe the movements of the car.
Tour bus driver Fan (second from right). (CNA image)
Though the bus sustained damage to the right windshield, none of the 15 passengers on board were injured, nor was the driver.
Fan, who was released on NT$150,000 bail, expressed regret about the accident and said to media cameras, "It was wrong to crash into them, I apologize deeply to the bereaved families."