Bus driver charged in Delaware crash that killed two passengers

 (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

(John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

The driver of a tour bus that crashed Sunday in New Castle, Delaware, has been charged in connection with the deaths of two passengers.

The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit has charged Jinli Zhao, 56, of Flushing, New York, with driving at an unsafe speed and causing the death of Hua’y Chen, 54, of New York City and Idil Bahsi, 30, of Istanbul.

The two women were among 49 passengers, many of whom were also injured in the 4:20 p.m. single-vehicle crash as the bus exited a ramp from State Route 1 toward U.S. Route 13 north in New Castle.

Zhao lost control of the bus as he attempted to negotiate a moderate curve on the ramp at an unsafe speed, state police said. The bus exited the roadway and turned onto its roof. It continued to slide on its roof, down a slight grass embankment, then turned onto its left side where it came to rest.

Chen, who was partially ejected and pinned under the bus, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bahsi, who sustained multiple traumatic injuries, was transported to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where she died Sunday night.

Zhao, who was charged with two counts of operation of a vehicle causing death of another person, was arraigned and committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on $5,000 secured bond.

A preliminary investigation has determined that drugs and alcohol are not considered contributing factors, although police said Tuesday that additional charges are likely to be filed at the investigation progresses.

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