2 Taiwan bus crashes in one day leave 4 dead, 21 injured

Aloha Transport bus crash kills 3, Kuo Kuang collision kills driver

(Changhua and Taoyuan Fire Department photos)

(Changhua and Taoyuan Fire Department photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Four people have died and 21 have suffered injuries after two separate bus accidents took place in Taiwan on Monday (June 10).

The first accident took place at 2:53 p.m. at the 51.5-kilometer mark of the southbound lane of National Highway No. 1 in Taoyuan where a Kuo-Kuang bus collided with the back of a flatbed semi-trailer, fatally injuring its 48-year-old driver surnamed Lee (李) and injuring 7 out of 12 passengers, reported Mirror Media. The fire department dispatched 20 firefighters and 9 ambulances to the scene of the accident.

When rescuers arrived on the scene, they found that Lee had been pinned inside the driver's compartment. When firemen extracted Lee from the bus, they found that he was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Scene of Kuo-Kuang bus crash on June 10. (Taoyuan County Fire Department photo)

The driver of the semi-trailer surnamed Hwang (黃) was also found to have suffered injuries. Paramedics then rushed Lee, Hwang, and the seven bus passengers to Taoyuan Hospital and Taiwan Landseed Hospital.

Doctors were unable to resuscitate Lee and he succumbed to his injuries. Three male and four female passengers from the bus received treatment for minor injuries.

The entire 3-lane southbound side of the highway was blocked while crews worked to clear the scene, causing traffic to pile up to the Linkou Interchange.

Scene of Kuo-Kuang bus crash on June 10. (Taoyuan County Fire Department photo)

The second accident took place at 10 p.m. at the 206-kilometer mark of the Changhua Section of National Highway 1 in Changhua's Xiushui Township when an Aloha Transport coach suddenly lost control, rolled down a slope, and flipped on its side onto a parallel road, reported Liberty Times. The crash killed three passengers and injured 13 others.

When rescue personnel arrived on the scene, they found that the bus was badly dented and warped by the crash and a total of 16 people, including the driver surnamed Kuo (郭), had suffered injuries. Kuo and some passengers managed to climb out of the bus, and those who were injured were rushed to the hospital.

Two passengers were declared dead that night and a third was declared dead this morning, reported ETtoday. Passengers reported that the bus had been swerving and had hit the raised pavement markers several times before the crash, leading many to suspect that Kuo had been heavily fatigued while driving.

Scene of Aloha bus crash on June 10. (Changhua County Fire Department photo)

The Directorate General of Highways (DGH) today (June 11) issued a press release indicating that Kuo had been driving for nine hours before the accident occurred (June 10). On the previous day (June 9), Kuo had driven four hours and 16 minutes and that he had 10 hours of rest on both days.

The DGH has asked Aloha Transport to properly handle the follow-up claims and care for those injured. Today, the DHG will carry out a comprehensive security inspection on Aloha Transport.

Kuo claimed that he swerved the bus to avoid objects that had fallen onto the road. However, a passenger surnamed Wang (王) told UDN that he noticed the driver had swerved the bus onto the shoulder and repeatedly hit the raised pavement markers, and described the feeling like "riding on a rollercoaster."

Scene of Aloha bus crash on June 10. (Changhua County Fire Department photo)

Another passenger surnamed Chen (陳) sitting in seat No. 5 near the front of the bus was asleep when the accident happened. When she woke up and asked Kuo what had happened, she claims that he admitted that he had felt a bit fatigued before the accident occurred, reported UDN.

An Aloha Transport bus crashed into a barrier on Sept. 11, 2017 killing six and injuring 11 after the driver ducked down to look for something on the floor. According to a source familiar with the case, but who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Mirror Media, footage from internal video cameras reveal that 27 seconds before impact, the driver, Wu Shieh-sung (吳協松), tilted his head down as he appeared to be reaching and searching for a cell phone or related component around his seat.

In the instant before impact, he suddenly looked up with a shocked expression on his face and then swerved hard to the left to avoid a vehicle, which investigators estimate was only 1 meter away at that point. The hard swerve to the left caused the bus to have a catastrophic collision with the concrete median.

Scene of Aloha bus crash on June 10. (Changhua County Fire Department photo)