A bus accident in Croatia has left 44 people injured and ten dead after a bus driver swerved off the highway. Authorities have stated that the driver seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel, veering far off the road and causing the bus to flip over. According to authorities, some of the injured are severely hurt and in critical condition.
The crash happened early Sunday morning, near the town Slavonski Brod, which is located along the highway between the Croatian capital and the border with Serbia. The bus driver survived the accident and has been placed under arrest after telling authorities he fell asleep “for a moment”.
The bus was on a regular route from Germany to Kosovo, with a destination of Pristina. The bus, which had Kosovo plates, could be seen overturned on the side of the highway throughout the day Sunday. Traffic on the road stopped due to the accident, as authorities tended to the wounded and documented the accident.
The bus was varying 67 people at the time of the accident. Two drivers were on the bus, but the off-duty one was killed in the accident. The bus’s passengers included children, some of whom were injured. Of the 44 wounded people brought to hospitals, reports indicate that at least eight of them are “seriously” injured.
The highly tragic accident led to a swift outpouring of grief from local leaders. “With our heart and in spirit, we are close to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy,” said Kosovo president Vjosa Osmani said. “It is an indescribable pain and a great loss.”
Osmani is currently not in Europe: she’s currently in Tokyo for the 2021 Summer Olympic events.
A local police chief in Croatia called the accident the worst he’d ever seen on the police force. Compounding the issue was the crash location on a major highway serving as a commercial hub for the region.
The incident serves as a grim reminder to drivers to make sure they never drive without getting proper sleep beforehand. Driving with sleep deprivation symptoms can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Just loading up on coffee and hitting the road isn’t a good idea. No amount of coffee is a substitute for a good’s night sleep, especially when you’re driving on the highway.