14 killed in East Java bus crash as driver was high on crystal meth: police

Fourteen passengers were killed when a tour bus smashed into an electronic traffic sign at an East Java toll road. Police say the driver was high on crystal meth. Photo: Handout
Fourteen passengers were killed when a tour bus smashed into an electronic traffic sign at an East Java toll road. Police say the driver was high on crystal meth. Photo: Handout

The man behind the wheel in a bus crash that killed 14 people in East Java was under the influence of crystal meth, police said, adding the driver also did not have a driver’s license.

The bus, carrying 34 people, smashed onto an electronic traffic sign on the Surabaya-Mojokerto Toll Road on Monday morning. Fourteen passengers were killed in the accident, while 19 others were injured.

The bus was operated by tour company PO Ardiansyah, while the passengers were on their way back to Mojokerto after trips to Wonosobo and Yogyakarta.

The East Java Police’s preliminary investigation suggested the driver, who has been identified as AF, as the main cause of the tragic incident.

“When we looked into the driver, there was indication that he used crystal meth. We are taking a blood sample to confirm the result of a urine test on the driver,” East Java Police Traffic Director Latief Usman told reporters yesterday.

Usman added that AF also did not have a driver’s license. 

According to the police, AF is a substitute driver who took the wheel after the bus stopped at a rest area on the toll road. AF drove the bus some 17 kilometers before he crashed it.

There were no brake marks on the location where the bus collided with the electronic traffic sign.

Police are gathering more evidence before officially pressing charges in the case. The tour company is also under police scrutiny, and may face criminal sanctions for neglect if their drivers were found to be unqualified for the job like AF.

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