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Investigators inspect bus in Butler County crash


Investigators on Monday examined brakes and other parts of a Greyhound bus that ran off the interstate and flipped over in Butler County over the weekend.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was getting help from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Butler County Sheriff’s office in trying to determine what happened along Interstate 75 — just south of the Ohio 63 exit in Monroe — in the early morning hours Saturday. At least 35 people were injured; six remained hospitalized Monday.

“We’re still putting together pieces of the puzzle,” said Highway Patrol Lt. Edward Mejia. “We haven’t determined the cause.”

Mejia said the 64-year-old driver was injured after being trapped inside the overturned bus, but Mejia didn’t have an update on the extent of the injuries or condition. He said the driver, Dwayne Garrett of Cincinnati, gave a statement to investigators and voluntarily had blood drawn for testing. Results from the state laboratory in Columbus probably won’t be known for at least a week, he said.

A passenger said he thought Garrett might have experienced a medical problem. Mejia said the driver was “conscious and alert” at the scene, but declined to discuss any details about him.

Greyhound Lines Inc. spokeswoman Alexandra Pedrini said the driver was rested and has 15 years of experience “with a clean record.” Greyhound also said the bus had recently undergone an annual inspection.

She referred other questions to the highway patrol.

The patrol had investigators checking the bus’ brakes and other mechanical systems on Monday, Mejia said.

U.S. Department of Transportation spokesman Duane DeBruyne said its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was working with state and local authorities in the investigation.

The crash happened at about 4 a.m. on I-75 near Monroe when the bus went off of the highway between a rest area and the Ohio 63 exit in Monroe, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said. The bus bound for Detroit landed on its side in a cornfield several hundred yards from the right side of the highway, officials said.

At least 75 emergency responders from Butler and Warren counties were at the scene.

Liberty Twp. fire Chief Paul Stumpf said a post-incident analysis meeting with the other responding agencies will occur in the next week or two to assess the accident and their response.

“And that way everybody has a chance to think about things and think about what should we do, what could we do, what went right and what went wrong,” said Stumpf, the incident commander of Saturday’s rollover accident.

Reporter Michael D. Pitman contributed to this report.


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