The driver of an SUV was killed in Taitung City this morning after a gravel truck smashed into his vehicle, pushing it into the back of a tour bus.
At around 9:00am, a traffic light on Zhiben Road, Section 2, had just turned from red to green, when the gravel truck hit the SUV from behind, pushing the vehicle for around 40 meters until it came to a stop against the back of a bus carrying a group of international tourists.
The SUV was completely crumpled, and folded in half, while the front wheels and cabin of the gravel truck were left mounted on the SUV after the crash. Fortunately, the tour bus was only slightly damaged, and none of the occupants were injured.
Firefighters spent more than an hour cutting through the mangled wreck of the SUV to extract the driver, who had no vital signs at the scene, and was later declared dead at the hospital.
According to Apple Daily, a preliminary police investigation suggests that the driver of the gravel truck was not paying attention to traffic conditions ahead of his vehicle. There were no marks on the road to indicate the driver had applied the brakes before the truck hit the SUV.
Alcohol breath tests administered to the drivers of the gravel truck and tour bus ruled out drink driving as a factor in the accident.
Further investigations will see the truck weighed to see if it was overloaded.
The tourists on the bus were on a five-day, four-night tour of Taiwan organized by an American travel agency. The travelers are reported to be from various countries, including Australia, the USA, and China. Apple Daily reported that an Australian tour group member said that he had felt two impacts on the bus.
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