The story appears on

Page A5

November 7, 2014

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Driver of overturned bus lost control after reaching for phone

THE driver of the bus that overturned near Donghai Bridge on Monday lost control of his vehicle after leaning forward to pick up his cellphone, police said yesterday.

The 41-year-old, surnamed Zhao, was also speeding at the time of the incident, police said, without saying how fast he was going or how they had reached their conclusions.

Zhao said in an interview with Shanghai Television on Tuesday that he lost control of the vehicle — which was en route to Shengsi County in neighboring Zhejiang Province — after running over something on the road.

The Shanghai Bashi Xinlianyi Tourism and Transport Co, which owns the bus, said earlier that the driver was not suffering from fatigue and that the vehicle could not have been speeding as it was fitted with a device that prevented it from going above 100 kilometers per hour.

Six people were killed and 43 others, including Zhao, were injured in the incident.

Zhao suffered fractures to his lower back after being thrown through the front windshield. Yesterday he was transferred from Shanghai Huashan Hospital to an unnamed police hospital where he will be treated while under custody.

The injured passengers were treated at four local hospitals. Several have since returned home, though 12 remain in serious condition and one is reported to have been paralyzed.

According to the police report, soon after Zhao leaned forward to pick up his phone, the vehicle drifted out of its lane and ran into a safety barrier on the right side of the road.

No seat belts

Zhao then over-corrected and sent the bus careering across the highway and into the left-side barrier. The vehicle then crashed into a lamppost and flipped on to its side, they said.

The Shanghai Transport Commission said the bus company, which is based in Jinshan District, will be punished for the actions of its driver, though it did not elaborate.

Officials said Zhao was catapulted through the windscreen as he was not wearing a seat belt. He is alleged to have said that he found it uncomfortable.

According to one of the injured passengers, very few people on the bus were buckled into their seats.

The transport commission said it plans to work with local law enforcement teams to encourage bus drivers and passengers to wear seat belts on all journeys.

The Donghai Bridge tragedy is not the first to be blamed on a driver being distracted by his cellphone.

On September 5, a man was killed after being hit by a bus in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province. The driver, surnamed Gao, was found to have been playing with his phone at the time of the accident.

The vehicle’s onboard surveillance cameras showed Gao looking at his phone 39 times in seven minutes, and on one occasion removing both hands from the steering wheel.

In November last year, a bus collided with a truck in Jingjiang, Jiangsu Province, as the two vehicles were traveling along a bridge over a river. A person in the truck was thrown from the vehicle and drowned in the water below.

The death was blamed on the driver of the bus, who was shown on the vehicle’s security cameras playing with his phone just prior to the collision.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend