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Greyhound bus driver Dwayne Garrett cited in I-75 crash, claims lapse in memory

Posted at 9:56 AM, Sep 26, 2013

CINCINNATI -- The driver of a Greyhound bus that ran off Interstate 75 and overturned less than two weeks ago told investigators he didn't remember anything from the last mile before the crash that injured 37 people, an investigative report released Thursday shows.

Garrett was cited for the Sept. 14 Liberty Township crash with operating a vehicle without reasonable control, a misdemeanor. An Ohio State Highway Patrol's crash report states he told investigators he was drinking coffee, began coughing violently, passed out and when he came to, the bus was on its side in a cornfield.

"The driver stated he doesn't remember anything for approximately one mile before the bus ran off the road.  When he regained consciousness, the bus was on its side," the report states.

9 On Your Side contacted Garrett at his home, but his only words were "no comment” before hanging up.

Greyhound spokesperson Alexandra Pedrini has been contacted seeking comment, but no response has been received.

Thirty-seven of the 51 passengers on board were injured.  Six of them were taken to hospitals by medical helicopters.  Paramedics took nine people to area hospitals from Liberty Township, West Chester Township, Fairfield, Deerfield Township, Evendale, Reading and Springdale.

Investigators said compiling an accurate list of passengers was difficult because many of them gave false information or because some of the tickets had been purchased by other individuals who weren't on the bus.

Witness statements paint a frenzied, chaotic and scary picture of the few seconds when the bus left the road, rolled several times and came to rest.

Ruthie Allen said she saw the driver slumped over the wheel, yelled at him, but he didn't respond as the bus drifted to the right onto the rumble strips.

"I thought the driver was just changing lanes," she wrote.  "He did not brake at all."

Allen needed 50 stitches to close a wound in her head, broke both legs, one arm and a wrist and fractured her pelvis.

Gary Mulkey described coming to as things were floating around the bus.

"I realized we were involved in an accident," he said.  "I had hit my face on the seat in front of me.  That is when it broke my teeth out.  I was trapped in between the seats."

Lawone Williams wrote how she grabbed the back of a seat as the bus flipped over and then blacked out.

"When I open (sic) my eyes, it was bodies everywhere," she wrote.  "I couldn't believe it."

After dozing off, Anthony Poe said he remembers the bus flipping over several times.

"I am banged up, but there are horrible injuries," he told investigators.  "I was airborne for the duration of the crash.  I have no idea how I made it."

An inspection 14 days before the accident found that the bus was in safe working condition.

A spokesperson for Greyhound said earlier company officials were withholding comment on the incident until after the investigation was complete.