Exclusive: What Caused GSP School Bus Crash

State Police rule out driver error as a cause for crash that landed Charter Tech students in the hospital

By Dan Stamm
|  Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012  |  Updated 3:20 PM EDT
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NBC10's investigator Harry Hairston has learned what caused a school bus to crash earlier this month on the Garden State Parkway and slam head-on into a tree.

NBC10 Philadelphia - Harry Hairston

NBC10's investigator Harry Hairston has learned what caused a school bus to crash earlier this month on the Garden State Parkway and slam head-on into a tree.

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New Jersey State Police exclusively told Harry Hairston and the NBC10 Investigators Tuesday that a mechanical error caused a school bus to crash along the Garden State Parkway earlier this month landing dozens of students in the hospital.

After weeks of investigating, State Police say the lug nuts to the driver's side rear wheel came off just before the “Safety Bus” carrying Charter Tech students crashed into the woods on Nov. 12.

Police say the lug nuts falling off caused the outer tire to fall off and sent the bus out of control near mile-marker 34 in Egg Harbor Township.

Luckily none of the nearly three dozen students on the bus suffered major injuries and some of the students even returned to school the next day.

Investigators say they don't know why the lugs came off of the tire.

We already found out that the driver, Christine Williams, had a clean driving record before the crash. On Tuesday, police officially ruled out driver error as a cause of the crash.

“My daughter did say the bus driver did everything she could not to run into a car,” said parent Michelle Griffin after the wreck.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission says they inspected the bus last month and failed it because of worn tires. But the same day the tires were changed and the bus was allowed to get back on the road.

The owner of “Safety Bus,” Tom Duggan told Hairston that he wasn’t aware of the findings but would check it out and get back to us.

 


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