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No Evidence of Mechanical Failure in N.J. Bus Crash

December 29, 1998| From Associated Press

SAYREVILLE, N.J. — Federal investigators found no early evidence Monday that mechanical failure caused a bus to run off the Garden State Parkway, killing eight people on Christmas Eve.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies began examining the wrecked Bruins Transportation bus. Robert Accetta of the NTSB said a check of the tires and braking systems found no defects.

The driver, Val Viner, told investigators he was trying to avoid an icy patch on the highway. Investigators are trying to determine whether Viner, 52, was fatigued or suffered from any condition that may have caused the accident.

Meanwhile, police blamed a second casino tour bus crash in New Jersey on excessive speed, saying a driver couldn't negotiate a turn on a curving ramp linking a state road to the New Jersey Turnpike.

Driver Gerald Jones was critically injured when his Academy Bus Co. vehicle crashed into an oak tree Sunday, injuring all 31 people aboard. Seven people remained hospitalized Monday.

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