The Double-Decker Megabus that crashed yesterday on a highway between Chicago and St. Louis with more than 60 people aboard left one death and more than four dozen injured, officials said.
The bus, with about 64 passengers listed on the manifest, apparently blew a tire and skidded into the center pillar around 1:20 p.m. near Litchfield, about 60 miles north ofSt. Louis.
Aditi R. Avhad, 24, a native of India, was killed in the crash, Illinois State Police Trooper Brad Lemarr said late Thursday. Illinois State Police said the dead passenger was a woman who had been seated in the front upper section of the bus, above the driver.
Christian Basi, spokesman for the University of Missouri, confirmed Avhad is an active graduate student at the university in Columbia, which was on the route of the bus.
At least four other people were flown by helicopter to a trauma center. Another hospital treated more than 20 other patients from the crash.
“I flew forward, and my glasses were smashed into the back of the seat in front of me,” said Siegal, 16, of Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood. “People were panicking, and babies were crying. A woman across the aisle from me was screaming that her leg was broken.” a passenger said.
According to the local police, 30 ambulances, 10 helicopters, and seven fire departments responded to the accident.
Thursday’s fatal accident was the first for the Chicago-based company since four passengers were killed in September 2010 when the driver of a double-decker Megabus smashed into a low bridge outside downtown Syracuse, N.Y. The driver was acquitted earlier this year of homicide in the deaths.
Police said they expected the highway to remain closed until late Thursday evening and possibly into Friday morning.