“Korean tour bus driver’s quick response may have reduced the number of casualties”

May 28, 2014

The Korean tour bus, which overturned and killed one in Mexico on Saturday, veered slightly off the road and lost its balance when the driver tried to right it, Ensenada police said.

Paul Noh

Paul Noh

An investigation has been launched by Mexican federal transportation authorities to determine whether the bus, operated by Samho Tour & Travel, was speeding, according to El Vigia, a local newspaper.

Authorities said the number of casualties may have been decreased by bus driver Paul Noh’s quick response — as the bus lost its balance, Noh made sure the bus did not roll toward a cliff. He died at the scene.

According to police reports, the bus did not have faulty tires or a broken wheel. At a sudden curve, the bus veered off the road, causing it to lose balance when the driver tried to get it back on the road.

“The road where the accident took place has always been difficult to drive on,” a spokesman for Ensenada police said in a phone interview with The Korea Times.

“Mexican authorities are leaving many causes, including speeding, open to careful investigation,” said a consul who arrived on the scene after the accident. “Currently, there is no evidence to establish the origin of the accident, so for now these are assumptions.”

A Samho spokesman said it was a miracle that, thanks to the driver, the number of casualties was small. The company will try its best to compensate the injured and support the Noh family, he said.

Meanwhile, the accident is the 10th tour-bus-related accident in the U.S. in the last two years, which have resulted in hundreds injured.