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posted: 3/23/2014 9:54 AM

1 dead after shuttle bus overturns on I-95

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A 16-passenger shuttle bus struck a guardrail and overturned before dawn Sunday along busy Interstate 95 south of the nation's capital, leaving one person dead and several others injured, Virginia State Police told broadcast outlets.

The bus was headed south on the heavily traveled East Coast artery when witnesses reported a speeding four-door passenger vehicle swerved into the bus's travel lane just before the bus overturned, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told WTOP.

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The crash occurred on the interstate in northern Virginia's Fairfax County and police were called at 3:28 a.m. Sunday, she said.

There were no immediate details on the fatality or the exact number of injuries or their extent. WTOP said two of the injured were airlifted to a Fairfax hospital.

"The shuttle bus was traveling south on I-95 when, according to witnesses, a white, four-door passenger vehicle traveling at an extreme high rate of speed swerved into the bus's travel lane," Geller told WTOP.

Geller said the bus driver veered to the right to avoid the car. "The shuttle bus then ran off the right side of the road, struck the guardrail and overturned," she added.

She said police were searching for a white sedan and added that southbound lanes of the interstate were restricted for a time before fully reopening around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Messages left with Geller by The Associated Press were not immediately returned Sunday and a dispatcher said she had no information to release.

News photographs taken at the site showed police had erected orange safety cones at the site and used floodlights to illuminate the overturned commuter bus. The white bus was on its right side in a grassy area, its rear pointed away from a crumpled guardrail. Crews were visible using a tall crane trying to right the bus. Its windshield was shattered and much of its right side crumpled from the right front bumper backward.

Geller identified the crashed vehicle as an American Transportation bus and that name was embossed on the side of the vehicle. An answering service dispatcher for that company said American Transportation had no information to release.

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