Sheriff'S Office: None injured in I-81 passenger bus accident

No one was injured when a private travel bus overturned about 1:30 this morning on Southbound Interstate 81 near Exit 13 in Preble, police said. Photo courtesy of the Cortland County Sheriff's Office

No one was injured when a private travel bus overturned during the night on Interstate 81 near Exit 13 in Preble, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.

Seven passengers were on the S&F Travel Inc. bus when it went off the slippery, snow-covered highway and rolled onto its side in the median, according to police.

The Sheriff’s Office responded at 1:36 a.m. to the accident along I-81 southbound, about a quarter mile from the Preble exit, according to the department. Accident scene photos show snow was thickly falling as deputies investigated. Officers ticketed the bus driver, Yong Zheng, for driving the bus at a “speed not reasonable and prudent for conditions,” according to a news release.

Zheng, 45, was driving the passengers to New York City when the bus overturned, police stated. The company that owns the 2007 bus is based out of Quincy, Massachussettes, according to the release.

Passengers were picked up by another bus after the accident and taken to their destination, said Lt. Karl Altman this afternoon. 

Morey’s Towing of Cortland and the state Department of Transportation planned to remove the bus around 8 a.m. this morning.

Driving too fast in poor weather conditions is a factor in nearly a quarter --- 23 percent --- of all large truck crashes, according to a July 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Weather observers at the Cortland County Airport noted at 1:15 this morning light snow was falling through a chilly, 25 degree Fahrenheit sky, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts were clocked at 20 miles per hour, while 13-mile-an-hour sustained winds created a windchill of 13 degrees.