The 61-year-old driver of a tour bus that crashed on the Tohoku Expressway early Thursday morning, suffered a cerebral infarction two months ago, it has been learned.
The driver, Susumu Tada, works for the Cruising World bus operator. He was driving a bus from Tokyo Disneyland to Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture when he ran into the back of a truck near the city of Shiroishi in Miyagi Prefecture just after 4 a.m., NTV reported. After hitting the truck, the bus slammed into a central divider on the highway, injuring the driver and 35 passengers, police said.
Police quoted the driver as saying that he suffered a cerebral infarction two months ago and that he was on medication. He also said that his doctor had urged him to stop driving, NTV reported. However, the driver said he did not have a seizure on Thursday morning. He said he misjudged the distance between his bus and the truck in front of him because he was sleepy, NTV reported.
Meanwhile, the driver's employer said he was not aware of his medical condition, Sankei Shimbun reported. He said that a recent medical checkup of Tada showed nothing out of the ordinary.
The issue of bus drivers' health has come under the spotlight since April when a bus crashed in Gunma Prefecture, killing seven passengers. The driver of that bus dozed off at the wheel while taking a bus full of tourists from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, to Tokyo Disneyland.© Japan Today