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Investigation Reveals Several Factors in Fatal Bus-Semi Accident

October 26, 2005

A federal investigation into an Oct. 16 crash, where a coach bus hit an overturned tractor-trailer, killing five people, showed that bad brakes, bus driver Paul Rasmus' vision problems and fatigue were possible factors involved in the crash, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the bus's brakes were not properly working, the 78-year-old driver wasn't wearing glasses (a requirement on his license), and Rasmus had been awake for 19 hours before the crash.Had the bus been inspected, NTSB officials say it would have been removed from service, according to the report.The bus, filled with members of a high school band and their chaperones, crashed into the semi on its way home from a competition in Wisconsin. Five people were killed, including Rasmus, and 30 more were injured. Three are still hospitalized, the report said.Rasmus' vision without his glass ranged from 20/40 to 20/50.However, the report said that investigators found that a collision would have happened even if Rasmus' vision were perfect. No skid marks, or indication of an attempt to stop the bus, were discovered.
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