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Megabus, semi collide on I-65 near Edinburgh

EDINBURGH, Ind. (WISH) – A Megabus heading from Chicago to Atlanta crashed near Edinburgh early Monday morning, injuring more than a dozen people on board and causing a miles-long traffic back up on Interstate 65.

It happened in the southbound lanes near State Road 252 around 5:30 a.m. This is close to the Johnson County/Shelby County line.

Preliminarily, officials say the Megabus rear-ended the semi, damaging the front windshield of the bus. Two other vehicles – a Chevy Avalanche and a Nissan Altima – were involved in the crash.Photos |See photos from the scene

Multiple ambulances were called to the scene to transport 19 people to local hospitals. Their injuries were said to be minor.

Passengers described the scene to 24-Hour News 8 as chaotic.

“I don’t think it’s the driver’s fault. I feel like it was a specific situation. It’s not their fault,” Rachel Stringer, passenger on the bus, said.

IndyGo sent two buses to pick up passengers. A spokesman for the company said their drivers were initially having a hard time reaching the scene, because of the major traffic back-up that formed after the crash.

Southbound lanes were completely shut down so emergency crews could respond, causing a back-up that stretched at least eight miles. Around 8 a.m., one lane of traffic was getting by. Northbound lanes were not affected.

This is the fourth crash over the past year in Indiana involving Megabuses. A crash near  Greenwood in October 2014 injured dozens of people when the bus tipped over. On Dec. 20, 2014, a Megabus landed on its side near Seymour, injuring a number of passengers on board. Ten days later, a Megabus was involved in a crash in northern Indiana near Hammond. No one on the bus was hurt.

In addition to the four Indiana crashes, Megabus has been involved in six other accidents in the last year: three in Illinois, one in Ohio, one in Michigan and one in Iowa.

According to the Safety Measurement System, Megabus has a “Satisfactory” rating – meaning records indicate no evidence of substantial non-compliance with safety requirements.

“They’re not flying under the radar but there aren’t too many that really are,” said First Sgt. Tyler Utterback with the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. “They’ve got 150 drivers, they’ve had 69 inspections, 42 vehicles. They travel a lot of miles without incident.”

Sean Hughes, director of corporate affairs for North America, released the following statement Monday morning:

“Megabus can confirm that one of our vehicles travelling from Chicago, IL to Atlanta, GA was involved in an incident on the I-65 near Edinburgh, IN, at approximately 6.00 am today. Safety is our number one priority and Megabus is fully cooperating with the authorities with their investigation into the incident.”

Later Monday, a passenger on board the crashed Megabus was on a second Megabus when Indiana State Police pulled over the bus and arrested him for an outstanding warrant from Michigan for attempted murder.