Bus driver in SSP crash was using non-commercial GPS

Posted: Updated:
LAKEVIEW -

Police say the driver involved in a bus crash on the Southern State Parkway was following directions from a non-commercial GPS device when he slammed into an overpass on the parkway Sunday night.

Officials say consumer GPS devices should not be used in commercial vehicles because they can route drivers into areas they shouldn't be. Buses and truck are not allowed on the parkway.

Thirty-eight students, mostly from Huntington High School, and five adult chaperones were hurt in the crash.

MORE: Dozens injured when bus hits overpass on Southern State Parkway

The state DOT says there are multiple warnings signs that tell commercial drivers not to get onto the parkway, and that the bus driver in this case may have ignored those signs.

Police say the driver was unfamiliar with the roads on Long Island and just following his GPS at the time of the crash.

VIDEO: News conference on Southern State Parkway bus crash

AAA's Robert Sinclair Jr. says that it is a common occurrence.

AAA has studied the problem of bridge strikes and says the No. 1 location on Long Island is the Eagle Avenue Bridge on the Southern State, where the bus crashed Sunday. Even though AAA says there are plenty of warning signs, it hopes the DOT can do more.The state DOT is installing electronic overheight vehicle warning systems at key parkway entrance ramps. If a truck activates the system, a large sign will light up to warn the driver that there is a problem.

The state DOT says it hopes to have most of the electronic overheight warning signs operational by late spring.

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