Officials cite driver error in Indiana Tech bus crash

A tour bus that overturned on southbound I-65 in southern Indiana lays on it's side in Henryille, Ind., Thursday, March 12, 2015. The bus was carrying members of the Fort Wayne Indiana Tech men and women's bowling teams and their coaches and crashed en route to a tournament in Tennessee. Clark County coroner Terry Conway said there were no fatalities at the crash scene, but multiple people were taken to hospitals. (AP Photo/The Courier-Journal, Philip Andrews)

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Investigators have determined the driver of a charter bus was to blame for crash on Interstate 65 in Henryville. On March 12, members of Indiana Tech men’s and women’s bowling team were traveling to Tennessee to compete in a United States Bowling Congress Sectional Competition.

The driver, Rex Altenburg, 76 of Fort Wayne, drove the bus off the left side of the road for an unknown reason, according to Indiana State Police-Sellersburg. Officials said he over corrected causing the charter bus to slide on its side across both southbound lanes. It rotated clockwise and was facing north before going off the east side of the road. The bus overturned after hitting a rocky ditch about 36 feet off the road.

Officials talked with bus passengers and witnesses as part of the investigation. Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers did a physical inspection of the bus. They found no mechanical issues with the charter bus. Investigators used an Event Data Recorder and computerized photographic reconstruction of the scene. It took about three weeks to complete the process.

Investigators were hopeful that the on board recording equipment would help them determine what caused the crash, but the camera stopped recording approximately two miles before the incident. The footage before the crash didn’t reveal any unusual driving behavior, but it did confirm that the bus was traveling the 70 mph speed limit, according to State Police.

Officials said no medical or physical conditions contributed to Altenburg’s action.

During the crash, 20 passengers and the driver were sent to the hospital but many of them were released the day it happened.

 

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