Salina (WSYR-TV) -- Drivers along Onondaga Lake Parkway tried to stop a Greyhound bus as it rapidly approached the low bridge Thursday morning.
It’s been a little more than six months after a new over-height detection system was installed and activated. The bus driver was apparently oblivious to the warning signs and flashing lights and came dangerously close to crashing into the bridge before a couple of quick thinking drivers kept the bus trip from turning tragic.
Andy Clement and his dad were on their way to work, traveling their usual route down the Parkway when they noticed a bus following them on the road and continuing past the detector and flashing signs.
“We proceeded to slow down and wave to him and try to get him to stop and he kind of looked at us like he didn’t know what was going on. Finally, I think he looked at the bridge and realized and started to slow down and pull over,” Clement said.
The State Department of Transportation says the over-height detector did go off just before six a.m. and immediately sent an alert to the command center. They quickly took to cameras fixed on the Parkway and saw a Greyhound bus headed dangerously down the road toward the low bridge.
"All the signs went off, the vehicle message signs said stop, apparently this bus bypassed them all,” said State DOT spokesman, Gene Cilento.
When the bus finally stopped it was just shy of the message board sign right before the bridge.
"After seeing what's happened in the past with the bridge we definitely thought we should stop and say, “Hey, pull over, get out of the way, anything to stop him,” Clement continued.
A Greyhound representative told NewsChannel 9 that the bus driver was not operating down the appropriate route as determined by Greyhound. The Bus was traveling from Buffalo to New York City.
Greyhound is investigating the incident to determine why it is the driver did not follow the intended route.
Greyhound released the following statement in regard to Thursday’s incident:
On Thursday, May 17, a Greyhound bus traveling from Buffalo, NY was not operating down the appropriate route as determined by Greyhound to its final destination of New York City. At this time, Greyhound management is thoroughly investigating this incident to determine why this motorcoach did not travel on the appropriate route.
It is the company’s top priority to provide safe travel services to its customers. We apologize for the delay this incident caused to our passengers.
This is not the first time the system has been triggered, according to the State DOT. Since the system went live in November, the system has detected vehicles 95 times – not all of them we’re headed to the bridge, some like garbage trucks, were just going to the St. Marie Among the Iroquois Museum. It’s likely, however, that some were on their way to the bridge, including seven buses, six dump trucks and 23 tractor trailers. None of the 95 over-height trips down the Parkway ended in a crash.