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Author Topic: Another BUS Crash 1 Dead  (Read 3777 times)
Bestekustoms
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« on: December 05, 2009, 06:49:12 PM »

Well Guys...  Another Bus Crash Today Just Outside Of Colorado..

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-12-05-wyo-bus-crash_N.htm

 :'(  :'(  :'(  :'(

JOHN
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 06:52:48 PM by Bestekustoms » Logged

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cody
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 06:54:46 PM »

It can happen so fast, our prayers to the injured and their familys and to the family of the one that didn't make it, we roll the dice everytime we venture out, even being in one of the safest vehicles on the road, we're still not immune.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 07:42:20 PM »

Hello Cody.  Yes You Are Right !!!. It All Happens So Fast.

Back When I Was Driving Tour Buses 20 Years Ago Or So.I Had To Do An Emergency Trip Up To Aspen Co. With A Full Load Of Passengers. The Airport There Was Closed And All These People Were Stuck In The (Old) Denver Airport. It Was A Very Important Job To Me.I Was New And Still Haveing To Prove Myself. Having 47 People In Your Care Is A Big Responsiblity. You Have To Be O So Careful.(Long Story Short) I Was A Rockie At The Time.I Had Maybe A Half Dozen Trips In The Mountains. So There Were Two Buses Going To Aspen. Me Being One And The Other Driver Was A Retired Greyhound Driver.(Know It All) I Was Made To Follow The Old SOB Thru The Trip. He Was A Cocky Old Guy Who Knew It All.!!!. (You Know The Type) But,This Guy Was Way Worse. He Wouldnt Shut Up...The Whole Time On The Radio..Do This..Be Carefull There Over And Over & Over Again !!!. This Guy Was Getting Me Scared And Had Me Sweating Real Bad.. Finally I Had Enough And Told The Guy To SHUT tfu. !! If Anyone Out There Has Ever Been On Rabbit Ears Pass In A Blizzard Knows What Im Talking About. !!!!. WOW What A Trip....ZERO Vizablity. I Can Still Remember It Today.

Anyway,He Gets Mad At Me And Takes Off Into The Storm Solo. (Not Cool) So Here I Am All Alone No Lights In Front Of Me & And None In The Rear.And Let Me Tell You...This STORM Was BAD !!! Many Hours Later I Get To Aspen With My White Knuckles About Bleeding. Everyone Was Safe And Throwing Money At Me For Getting Them There Safe And Sound. I Felt Like A HERO..... But Where Was The Other Bus?? He Should Have Been There Way Before Me?? But He Was No Where To Be Found. No Radio NO NOTHING. So I Drive Back To Denver And Get Back About Late Morning.

So,What Happened To The Other Bus??. Well He Crashed With 47 People On Board. Thank God NO ONE Was Hurt. There Was Just A Lot Of Mad People All Wishing They Would Have Rode With The Rockie !!!

He (The Old SOB)Was Fired From The Company For Careless Driving And He Was Even Ticketed By The State Hwy Police.....And Me...Well I Was Givin A Raise. Shocked.

So...The Best Thing A Driver Can Do Is....Keep His Head Out Of His @$#. Have A Good Attutude And Pray Often.!!  10-4...10-4

Everytime I Here of An Accident Im Reminded Of This One Night In The Worse Snow Storm Ive Ever Been In.. Driving A MCI-9 DD With A Stick Shift. WOW... That In Itself Is A Scary Ordeal.. Cheesy Cheesy

JOHN
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 07:43:43 PM »

This is why you don't drive where you can't stop before getting there!  If you are going to fast to stop before you get past your farthest view of the road ahead, you are going too fast.

Notice that this coach was full.  That means an extra FOUR TONS of people aboard, plus maybe another ton of luggage, plus several hundred pounds of fuel, and that bus was pretty close to GVW limit.
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 07:45:40 PM »

Every time I go out and return without incident, I am so grateful for His protection and safety.

Thousands of miles - could I feel any more blessed?

I pray for the driver and those passengers whose lives have been altered. May they heal well and return to their lives without further incident.

Keith
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2009, 08:05:10 PM »

John,

I know what you mean about Rabbit ears. We did that, not too long ago, in a blizzard too. Almost zero visibility, snow packed, etc. We crawled down that in first gear, most of the time (hazards on the whole way). When you take that pass that slow, it seems like it will never end. It just goes on for ever!

God bless,

John

 
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cody
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 08:14:11 PM »

Here on the south shore of lake superior we can get whiteout conditions on a moments notice, for 20 years I drove 97 miles, each way, from Skanee to the Marquette Branch Prison to work, 6 days a week, every week, winter and summer, I drove in storms that sometimes I watched out the side windows and used the snow banks as guides to tell me if I was on the road or not, in this area long commutes are normal and we just do it because thats what we do to feed our families, sure there are jobs that would do the same but I wanted to get ahead and make good money and a state job in an era that was ripe with promotions, I did what I would now think as being foolish.  The last 5 years of my career were spent working in a prison that was only 25 miles from home, was like retiring to not have the long drive, Thankfully I never had an accident, unfortunately I was the first on the scene of several, some with injuries, many with deaths, it's never easy to come around a corner at 2AM and find debri all over the road, you pull over and start looking for the car.  Now, I'm older, maybe not wiser, but I pick and choose when and where I drive and if it looks like it could get bad, I just don't go, many don't have that option and I ache for the ones left behind when the road turns bad.
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 08:51:00 PM »

Rabbit Ears would be on the way to Steamboat -FWIW
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 09:00:28 PM »

... I Had To Do An Emergency Trip Up To Aspen Co. With A Full Load Of Passengers. The Airport There Was Closed And All These People Were Stuck In The (Old) Denver Airport. ... If Anyone Out There Has Ever Been On Rabbit Ears Pass In A Blizzard Knows What Im Talking About. !!!!. WOW What A Trip....ZERO Vizablity. I Can Still Remember It Today.


Just curious ...  If you were going from Stapleton to Aspen, why did you go over Rabbit Ears to Steamboat?  Isn't that kind of the long way to get to Aspen?   Roll Eyes

I've driven those storms out there all my life. Some years are worse than others.

I was in a storm in WY last spring that was the worst I've ever driven in.  At times the only visibility was negative visibility (i.e. all I could see was the side of my bus in my rear view mirror).  We got out about 30 miles on the way to Laramie and my Mother called and asked where I was. She said they just closed the road to Creston (I'm currently halfway to Creston) and I should turn around and come back. Well, for starters, I'm pulling a toad and there is no place to turn around. I said well, I'm halfway there. I'm not driving back through this crap. It literally cannot get any worst going ahead!  It finally let up a bit by Rawlins. Elk Mountain had more blizzard, but not quite as bad. We made it ok, but sure picked up some extra weight in ice. My water manifolds froze in the rear bay because I didn't have the house heat running as I use the coach heat when driving. Didn't damage anything, though.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 11:49:10 PM »

When I was driving, I had a simple solution to driving in a white out type storm-pull over for the night.  Nine times out of ten, the next day the storm blew through. Only once in 21 years did I have to wait two days for the storm to pass.  Even then, I still wasn't late on my load.  It's just not worth chancing driving in snowy conditions.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 04:02:50 AM »

Looking at the video it was one of their older VanHools wasn't damaged that much the driver must have caught all the impact or something came through the windshield and got him.
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 08:16:43 AM »

When I was driving, I had a simple solution to driving in a white out type storm-pull over for the night.  Nine times out of ten, the next day the storm blew through.

I'm with you there!

In the winter of 2002 - 2003, an ice storm his Nashville as I was trying to go through.  After moving about 100 feet in an hour, I moved over to the shoulder, parked, put on a DVD and put dinner into the microwave.  When I looked out the window after the movie was over, the car that I had been behind was still in sight.

A siren blipping woke me up at about 2 in the morning, and I looked out to see an ambulance trying to get through, traffic was still one big jam.

The next morning was clear and bright, and I slow-rolled through town and out to the west.  The whole route looked like the Highway to Hell from the first Gulf war, for mile after mile there were cars, trucks and buses with their noses or tails in the ditch . . .and my Freightliner was not one of them, I had slept well and had a hot breakfast before putting the truck in gear.  I always figured that I had been hired to get my load from dock to dock, not from dock to CRASH SITE, and sometimes the fastest way to get through is to park and wait.
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2009, 08:28:08 AM »

When I was driving, I had a simple solution to driving in a white out type storm-pull over for the night.  Nine times out of ten, the next day the storm blew through. Only once in 21 years did I have to wait two days for the storm to pass.  Even then, I still wasn't late on my load.  It's just not worth chancing driving in snowy conditions.  Good Luck, TomC

And for people who are not accustomed to that, that's a very sound decision.

Sometimes you just don't have a choice. When we left, the weather was good and the roads were open. 30 miles later it changed.
There are no places to pull over along that stretch of highway.

Such is the nature of weather and roads in WY.

I'm used to it. I grew up in that stuff. We don't view it as a big problem, just a bit of an inconvenience because we know how to drive in it. There's a reason
I didn't put highway tires on the drive axle of my coach like 99% of busnuts do.

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Craig Shepard
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cody
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2009, 08:59:43 AM »

Same thing here, like craig said, i grew up in these conditions, we set up our vehicles to handle it and then we learn to cope with it, in this area, 99% of the other vehicles on the road are also set up to handle winter with snow tires and experineced drivers for the most part with the exception of the occasional winter tourist.  We take our time and prepare as well as we can, if we have the choice, most choose not to be on the roads in a storm but when you deal with winter in a northern area, especially in an area prone to lake effect storms, you can have the sun shineing and 10 minutes later your in a whiteout.  The safest option was always to wait out a storm but that isn't always possible.
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 02:38:05 PM »

Down here in lower Michigan we don't get near the snow that Cody is use to. I remember the snow we got when we lived in Marquette, MI and it was amazing. Down here the schools usually stay open with 6 inches of snow and most people can drive in it, except for the first couple of storms. I love driving in snow (my old boss said that it was because I'm 25% Polish) and since I have plowed snow off and on over the last 30+ years I have seen some real stupid moves by drivers. I will let them pass me since they are in a hurry to end up in a ditch. I have been in the ditch once when I was cut off by a tanker truck. Didn't want to take my chances against a trailer full of fuel.

John
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2009, 03:55:36 PM »

Down here in lower Michigan we don't get near the snow that Cody is use to. I remember the snow we got when we lived in Marquette, MI and it was amazing. Down here the schools usually stay open with 6 inches of snow and most people can drive in it, except for the first couple of storms. I love driving in snow (my old boss said that it was because I'm 25% Polish) and since I have plowed snow off and on over the last 30+ years I have seen some real stupid moves by drivers. I will let them pass me since they are in a hurry to end up in a ditch. I have been in the ditch once when I was cut off by a tanker truck. Didn't want to take my chances against a trailer full of fuel.

John

What part of Southwest MI are you in?  We used to live in Niles and Buchanan.
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2009, 04:12:22 PM »

We live in Kalamazoo, technically Pavilion Township. I don't make it to Niles much but we did buy some equipment from a printing company there that closed about 15 years ago. Seems like Niles has a rich history.

John
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2009, 04:23:51 PM »

We live in Kalamazoo, technically Pavilion Township. I don't make it to Niles much but we did buy some equipment from a printing company there that closed about 15 years ago. Seems like Niles has a rich history.

John

John you are so right my mother was raised there! I spent a lot of time there as a child visiting with my grandparents!
Grin  BK  Grin
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cody
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2009, 06:50:57 PM »

Wow, I'm surrounded by trolls, trolls to the right of me, trolls to the left of me lol
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2009, 07:10:00 PM »

It's always sad when a member of the bus transportation industry loses his/her life in an accident, and my thoughts go out to the 61-year-young driver's family.

Since the accident happened about 1:30 in the morning, and, based on the video, I wonder if this was a classic example of overdriving the headlights for somewhat poor weather conditions, or a possible HOS issue? 

Strictly speculation, thinking out loud based on industry experience - don't take it as fact until the details come in from the WHP MAIT Squad.

Arrow Stage Lines is a well-respected, 150+ coach fleet w/in the industry, with good pm and training programs, not one of the "fly-by-nite" boys that pop up almost daily to low-ball the majors.  Sad to see them involved, but it happens.



Bryce -

Hey BK - maybe you should give Bruce Neuharth a call - you might be able to make a good deal on a complete powertrain from that 217 Setra!  Heck, maybe he'd even make you a good deal on the entire salvage, then you'd have a relatively new parts bus, too!  Talk to Dad. . .

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2009, 04:56:17 AM »

Wow, I'm surrounded by trolls, trolls to the right of me, trolls to the left of me lol

Yes, but do da Yoopers have your back?   LOL  Jack
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2009, 05:32:18 AM »

Actually jack, I'm afraid to turn my back on them, I went to school with most of them and I always felt they would someday end up in prison or an insane institution, I never thought they would become somewhat famous just by being the goofs they are, incidentally, some of them are classically train musicians, scary huh lol.
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2009, 10:56:12 AM »

Clifford,
That seems to be a 1998 Setra S217. As pointed out by RJ, and the video I found of it.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2009, 12:05:11 PM »

Your right BK it was a Setra one of the oldest in their fleet of 175 buses the Busskohl family will find out what happen Steve Busskohl told me this morning that coach had been traded in on a new S 417 sleeper they were waiting on delivery on the new one.
The coach had just been set to Denver from Tucson 2 weeks ago for ski runs
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2009, 12:58:15 PM »

Your right BK it was a Setra one of the oldest in their fleet of 175 buses the Busskohl family will find out what happen Steve Busskohl told me this morning that coach had been traded in on a new S 417 sleeper they were waiting on delivery on the new one.
The coach had just been set to Denver from Tucson 2 weeks ago for ski runs

Hey Clifford can ask if he wants to sell it cheap for parts?
If the price is right I could use it. Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2009, 01:02:59 PM »

Wow, I'm surrounded by trolls, trolls to the right of me, trolls to the left of me lol

Trolls!! I'd almost forgot about that!

Trolls and Upers (Yoopers??)  I never quite understood that, because my memory of the childhood tale was that it was goats that were above the bridge.  Cheesy

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2009, 01:33:21 PM »

Just be careful Cody. If you dillydally too long down here under the bridge you may never make it back to the rich fields around the summer farm in the hills.

John
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2009, 10:36:06 PM »

Rabbit Ears would be on the way to Steamboat -FWIW

Yes, You Are Right !!.  I Was Going To STEAMBOAT  ( MY BAD )as they say.

DA...!!!

JOHN
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2009, 03:13:37 AM »

Rabbit Ears would be on the way to Steamboat -FWIW

Yes, You Are Right !!.  I Was Going To STEAMBOAT  ( MY BAD )as they say.

DA...!!!

JOHN

Yeah, well...  If you've seen one Colorado ski town, you've seen them all!   Wink

That road from Dillon to Steamboat used to be one heck of a ride.  Most of the bad part has been rebuilt in the last decade. Still can be a bit dicey along
the reservoir and going down the west side of Bunny Ears.

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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2009, 12:25:13 PM »

John - Not your BAD - to paraphrase Gumpy - If you've done enough CO passes they are all  BAD passes  Grin

Gumpy have you ever followed the Colorado river from I70 (Dotsero) to McCoy on 41 - makes 40 look like a superslab - Dirt bike/four wheeler heaven up there off 131 though - I'd rather run Rabbit Ears East to West 'cause you have the inside lane at most of the right places but then again going up the West side is better than going down it - FWIW

BTW - I'll take Steamboat over Aspen any day!
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2009, 01:36:01 PM »


Gumpy have you ever followed the Colorado river from I70 (Dotsero) to McCoy on 41 - makes 40 look like a superslab - Dirt bike/four wheeler heaven up there off 131 though - I'd rather run Rabbit Ears East to West 'cause you have the inside lane at most of the right places but then again going up the West side is better than going down it - FWIW

BTW - I'll take Steamboat over Aspen any day!

No. Haven't done that one. Is it bus accessible? I was just looking at it. Looks like a nice drive, though.

We did 131 one summer. We were going South and cut off at Hayden on 27 to Oak Creek and then 131 to I-70. It was not a bad drive. A couple steep hills that I had to get down into 1st gear on. Nothing real difficult. The steep stuff might have been on 27.

I've done bunny ears in the bus several times now. I've learned to just slip the tranny into 2nd and watch the speedo. A touch of brake as it hits 20 and keep it in the 18 - 22 mph range. It takes awhile to decend and people don't particularly like me, but I don't  much care. I get there safe and enjoy the ride. I don't think I've ever taken the bus the other way on it. We're usually going north.

You ever been on cty 8 from Meeker to Yampa?  Is it bus accessible? Looks like a nice drive.
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2009, 10:34:36 PM »

It's narrow paved on the south end with a few single lane bridges then turns to gravel - there are a few stretches where the river along with the railroad and the road (very narrow) squeeze together combined with a shear rock face and blind curves - there are many rock haulers and surprisinglty tankers that use the road - fortunately I never ran into one at a blind curve and don't know what I'd do as the road isn't wide enough for both - probably hit the RR tracks and try not to end up in the river - plenty of turnout camping areas and raft launch/recovery sites - nearly impossible to sleep with all the coal trains coming through night and day -

No I've never taken  cr8 from meeker to yampa - but you just got me thinkin 'bout it  Roll Eyes
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