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Tour Bus Based In N.J. Crashes, Injuring 17

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Emergency crews at the tour bus crash (credit: CBS 2)

Emergency crews at the tour bus crash (credit: CBS 2)

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (CBS 2) — Another local bus company is coming under scrutiny following the third tour bus crash in the Northeast in just 11 days.

The bus was part of New Jersey-based PRT Tours, which is based on 735 Grand Avenue in Ridgefield. Their Quebec-Boston bus rolled over an embankment in New Hampshire last night.

Twenty five passengers, mostly Korean sightseers, were on the bus. Seventeen people were hurt. Injuries ranged from minor to serious.

Fire officials believed the weather may have played a factor in this crash. Roads were foggy conditions and covered with snow.

On March 12, an horrific bus crash on I-95 in the Bronx killed 15 people. The NYPD focused their investigation on driver Ophadell Williams.

The attorney general has opened an investigation into how Williams could have been cleared to drive a tour bus. Williams had previously been convicted of manslaughter and is suspected of lying on his application.

Williams spoke out for the first time Monday. “I’m hurting about the whole situation,” he said. Williams cut his statement short, saying he was having difficulty breathing.

“It’s a very tragic thing for all parties. It’s not only my husband who’s hurting. I’m hurting, my children are hurting, the victims of all those families are hurting,” said Holly Williams, Ophadell’s wife.

The accident sparked a crackdown on bus safety. Over the last three days, 164 buses were pulled over and inspected. Of these, 41 were found to have driver or vehicle violations serious enough for them to be pulled off the road.

In Manhattan alone 26 buses were inspected, with 16 having to be pulled out of service.

Those inspections were expected to continue Tuesday.

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