NBCPhiladelphia.com - Claudia Rivero
Investigators try to find out what caused a bus crash on the New Jersey Turnpike as riders on similar buses way safety versus expense.
Police on Tuesday were examining the wreckage of a bus to try to figure out why it crashed as it traveled from New York City's Chinatown to Philadelphia, killing the driver and a passenger and injuring several others.
The one-vehicle crash Monday night on the New Jersey Turnpike -- one of the nation's most heavily trafficked highways -- happened just days after a bus from a Connecticut casino crashed as it was returning to New York City's Chinatown neighborhood, killing 15 people.
In Monday's accident, driver Wei Wang, a 50-year-old Taiwanese national who lived in Forest Hills, N.Y., was thrown through the windshield, and several passengers were badly injured, state police Sgt. Stephen Jones said.
Passenger Troy Nguyen, 20, of Royersford, Pa., was asleep at the time of the crash. He died after being transported to a hospital in New Brunswick. Police said Nguyen was partially ejected from the rear driver's side window.
"So unfortunate, so young and you never expect anything like this," said Troy's uncle Luan Nguyen.
Forty-one other passengers were sent to hospitals. Louis Pierre, 50, of Philadelphia and 70-year-old David Choi, of Lansdale, Pa., were in critical condition, Jones said. They are believed to have been sitting in the rear of the bus, police said. State police weren't sure how many other passengers remained hospitalized as of Tuesday afternoon.
Preliminary evidence suggests the bus, operated by a Pennsylvania company, was traveling south on the turnpike at around 9 p.m. Monday when the crash occurred just south of Exit 9 in East Brunswick, about 40 miles southwest of Manhattan. The vehicle went off the road onto the grassy median before striking a concrete overpass support, Jones said.
The white bus came to a stop at an angle, its damaged front section pointed off the highway and onto the median.
The cause of the crash hadn't been determined, and the investigation could take several weeks. The medical examiner's office will perform an autopsy on the driver to determine if he suffered any medical issue prior to the crash.
The bus was moved to an impound lot, where state police said it would be inspected and all available data would be taken from its electronic components.
The bus was operated by Super Luxury Tours Inc., of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., New Jersey State Police said. No website or telephone listing for the company could be found.