WASHINGTON — Virginia State Police charged the driver of a Princess Tours bus that flipped on its side, shutting down southbound Interstate 95 in Stafford County for four hours, has been charged with reckless driving.
Police say Qilong Xiao, 50, of Flushing, N.Y., was driving the bus from New York to Doraville, Ga. when the 4:05 a.m. crash occurred on the snow-covered highway.
Police say speed was a factor in the crash.
Xiao is being held on a $5,000 unsecured bond at Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford County.
“The bus was traveling southbound on I-95 when the driver apparently lost control and overturned the bus onto it side,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine N. Geller told WTOP.
The bus, a 2005 Van Hool, ended up on its side at mile marker 137, and southbound I-95 closed at Centreport Parkway.
Police revised the number of people on the bus. There were 58 passengers, plus the driver on board. All of them were taken to four hospitals in Stafford, Spotsylvania and Prince William counties. Stafford County school buses were used to transport the passengers to the hospitals.
Qilong Xiao (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Four people suffered serious injuries but their injuries are not life- threatening.
No one has died, state police say.
Police say the bus left Brooklyn, N.Y. Sunday night and stopped to refuel in Woodbridge, Va. Monday morning.
Arrangements have been made by the bus company to transport the stranded passengers to their final destinations, police say. The only Virginia stop the bus was to make was in South Hill.
Police are continuing to investigate and say they encountered a language barrier with the passengers, who were of Chinese descent and spoke limited English.
Police have notified the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about the crash.
A check of federal safety records indicates there have been no reports to federal officials of any accidents involving buses registered to Princess Tours over the past 24 months.