Work Begins on Commuter-lane Exits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - The Interstate 75 commuter-lane exit that was the site of the deadly bus crash in Atlanta will be closed Wednesday while engineers make some safety changes.

The state Department of Transportation says it is making changes to seven left-hand commuter-lane exits along interstates in metro Atlanta as a result of the crash nearly two weeks ago.

DOT spokesman David Spear said yesterday that the department will add signs, raised pavement and reflective striping to the ramps. Spear declined to say whether the safety measures could have prevented the March second wreck where the bus driver apparently mistook the commuter-lane exit ramp for an interstate lane.

Seven people died after the bus crossed through the intersection at the top of the ramp at I-75 and Northside Drive and then careened over the retaining wall of the overpass to the interstate 30 feet below. The bus was carrying a baseball team from Bluffton University in Ohio to Florida.

Four team members, the driver and his wife, were killed in the accident. A fifth player died last week from injuries sustained in the crash. Twenty-nine people in all were sent to hospitals following the wreck.

Two remain hospitalized in Atlanta. Coach James Grandey is listed in good condition at Piedmont Hospital. Player Tim Berta -- a senior -- is listed in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital, but his father says he is improving.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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