A charter bus carrying 45 passengers crashed on northbound Highway 161, near Beltline Road, in Irving, Texas. Initial reports state that 2 died in the accident, while many were transported to Dallas area hospitals. Currently, 16 passengers were listed as having critical injuries. The accident happened on Thursday April 11, 2013, at about 9:00, a.m. The bus had just picked up passengers in Grand Prairie, located just southeast of Dallas, headed for Choctaw Casino. DART buses helped in transporting passengers with lesser injuries, while others with more serious personal injuries were taken by ambulance.
Initial accounts from investigators believe that the bus was travelling in the right lane of northbound Highway 161, President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) when it apparently struck a rubber barrier of the right shoulder of the highway. After striking the object, the bus lost control, and crossed over the left lane and shoulder of the PGBT. The bus then entered the grass center median and struck the concrete center barrier. The bus then turned over and flipped onto its right side trapping passengers. Some reports indicate that a tire blowout may have also contributed to the crash. Witnesses and passengers describe a chaotic scene with fuel being spilled from the bus. Emergency personnel worked tirelessly to clean the spill, which did not ignite. Highway 161 was closed in both directions.
Cardinal Coach Lines, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, operates 5 buses and employs 7 drivers. Reports say that a preliminary search of Federal and Sate of Texas records show some violations were issued to the bus company in the last 24 month period, but did not show any reports of serious accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently gathering information to determine whether its investigators will be sent to the scene. However, NTSB investigators will probably get involved in the investigation at some point.