Stretch of B.A. Expressway Near Lewis, Site of Hundreds of Accidents

Monday, September 27th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa school bus slid out of control on the Broken Arrow Expressway Monday morning. It happened in the eastbound lane near Lewis Avenue. No one was seriously injured. The News on Six investigation found that this location is a trouble spot that has seen hundreds of automobile accidents.

Three special education children left the accident scene on stretchers after a Tulsa school bus swerved off the road. Police say it looks as if the bus driver lost control on the rain slicked expressway and slid right through the concrete barriers. Witnesses who saw the accident stopped to help. "I saw a lady working on a little boy," said eyewitness Robert Buckle. "She was right here past the yellow line on the highway, so I stopped to help stop traffic in the lane she and the boy were in."

The reason the bus did not flip over was because a train was parked on the railroad tracks near the expressway. The train stopped the bus from going any farther.
The children and driver only suffered minor injuries. Police say the accident is nothing new for this spot of the expressway. In the past three years, there have been 240 accidents reported on these curves. "This is a notoriously bad section of roadway on the Broken Arrow Expressway where we've had numerous accidents, especially when it rains," said Tulsa police sergeant Wayne Allen. Police say they will investigate the bus accident to see if the driver was speeding.

The Tulsa Public Schools transportation department says there has been three school bus accidents in the past four years on the stretch of the expressway. People who drive in the area say the curves are dangerous. "When the surface is wet, they'll come around that curve and lose control, and then the car starts ping-ponging off the sides," said Tulsa resident Sarah Shortsleeve.

A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation says he's going to look into the trouble spot. He says he'll consider placing "Slippery When Wet" signs in the area. But ODOT and police say drivers just need to slow down especially, when roads are wet.