Driver in fatal bus accident might have had medical emergency at the wheel

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A burned-out bus is seen on the Nagoya Expressway in Kita Ward, Nagoya, on Monday.

NAGOYA — A bus that overturned and caught fire on an expressway in Nagoya on Monday was lurching for a few hundred meters before the fatal accident, according to investigative sources who have reviewed dashcam footage from a vehicle behind the bus.

Aichi prefectural police are investigating the possibility the 55-year-old driver had a medical emergency shortly before the accident, which left two people dead and seven injured.

The two deceased victims have not been identified but one is believed to be the driver.

According to sources, the bus was proceeding toward the Toyoyama-Minami exit on the Komaki section of the Nagoya Expressway when it crashed into a barrier that divides the main and exit lanes.

The dashcam of a vehicle behind the bus is said to have recorded the bus lurching for several hundred meters before it veered into the barrier, overturned and burst into flames.

A spokesperson of the Komaki, Aichi Prefecture-based bus operator Aoi Traffic Corp. said the bus driver did not have any preexisting health issues that the company was aware of.

The Chubu Transport Bureau of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry conducted an additional search of the company’s Noguchi office on Wednesday.