PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. – The driver of a charter bus that overturned on Interstate 95 in Prince George County killing two people on March 19 has been indicted on two counts of Involuntary manslaughter.
Yui Man Chow, the 40-year-old bus driver from Staten Island, New York, was indicted Tuesday morning in Prince George County. Chow was the man behind the wheel when a Tao's Travel Inc. bus overturned when he attempted to take an exit ramp too fast.
The crash left two dead and dozens injured.
Chow, along with Tao Travel, Inc., Starline Coach, Inc., Peaceful, Inc., are named as defendants in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by a victim in the crash.
The lawsuit alleged the travel companies "knew or should have known Defendant Chow possessed a propensity for negligent, careless, unsafe, and reckless driving coming in the form of distracted driving, use of a cellular device while operating a charter bus, fatigued driving, and driving at excessive speeds."
Virginia State Police have not said cell phones or driver fatigued were causes of the crash, but did mention excessive speed as a causation.
What we know about Tao's Travel Inc.
The bus involved in the crash is owned by Tao's Travel Inc. CBS 6 researched the company and discovered it is a small business based in Middleton, Massachusetts, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
The company owns four vehicles and employees eight drivers.
The site lists that Tao's has one speeding violation in February of last year and four vehicle maintenance issues including improper exhaust, an oil or gas leak, and no or defective exit window.
The company had been not involved in any crashes, according to federal officials.
Witnesses say the bus flipped two times
Evan Barbour, a Shell Gas Station employee on South Crater Road, said he's witnessed numerous accidents outside of his store.
Barbour believed the signage on I-95 may be partially to blame for the crash.
"I feel like it maybe could've been avoided. Drivers either run the stop sign and pull out into the traffic or they go across that road thinking it's I-295," Barbour said.
Drivers traveling northbound on I-95 see the exit 45 sign, followed by the 295 exit sign, and then the actual exit 45 off-ramp.
Barbour watched the surveillance videos of the deadly crash captured on store cameras.
"It looked like it went sideways and flipped counterclockwise about two and half times until it landed on its side," he described.BY VERNON FREEMAN JR.