Transit union blames fatal Greyhound crash on driver fatigue

KNTV

A union for transit workers is blaming a deadly Greyhound crash in Northern California this week on driver fatigue. 

The Washington, D.C.-based Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) said the accident and other similar incidents are the result of bus drivers being overworked. 

“In America, this is a national crisis. We have buses that are rolling off the roads and killing people," ATU International President Larry Hanley said in a statement. "The bus industry is forcing drivers to work too many hours to make a living wage."

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The Greyhound bus was traveling north on U.S. Highway 101 in the San Jose area when it flipped on its side, according to media reports. There were 39 passengers on board at the bus at time of the accident.  

In addition to two fatalities, four passengers and the driver were sent to the hospital, and 13 others were treated for minor injuries at the site of the crash, according to The Associated Press. 

San Jose officials reportedly said the cause of the accident is under investigation. The driver will blood-tested for alcohol and drugs. 

The transit union said Thursday "the real problem is that bus companies are not required to pay drivers overtime, causing many to work other jobs to make ends meet and show up behind the wheel exhausted. 

"The drivers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which pays time-and-a-half beyond 40 hours, like most other American workers get," the union said. "ATU has been pushing for Congress to pass the Driver Fatigue Act to change this."