Driver arrested for DWI in deadly tour bus ax

May 9, 2011 3:33:28 AM PDT
A tour bus driver is under arrest and charged with DWI after a deadly accident in New York City.

Police say the driver of a TraveLynx tour bus struck and killed a pedestrian crossing a street on the West Side.

It happened on 9th Avenue and 47th Street just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

Timothy White, 29, of Philadelphia was struck by the tour bus, stuck under the wheel, and dragged for about a half a block.

"I was eating, but I could hear people screaming, we came out here and saw him, but he was just lying under the bus," a witness said.

White later died at Bellevue Hospital.

There's no word on where the TraveLynx bus was headed before the accident.

The driver has been identified as Steve Drappel, 57, of West Palm Beach, Florida.

He's been charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI.

Drappel alledgely failed a breathalyer test blowing a .08, twice the legal amount for commercial drivers.

Sources say he had a coffee mug with vodka inside.

TraveLynx is based out of North Carolina and has a "Satisfactory" rating from the Department of Transportation.

It has no other recorded crashes or injuries in the past two years.

Just this past Thursday, the Department of Transportation announced new safety regulations for tour bus companies.

The changes include more rigorous testing and uniform national standards for all tour bus drivers.

Secretary Ray LaHood is also proposing increased bus inspections.

The move comes after two deadly accidents in March.

15 passengers died when a bus slammed into a sign post along I-95 in the Bronx.

Federal investigators found that bus was traveling 78 miles-per-hour before the driver lost control.

Two days later in East Brunswick, New Jersey, two people were killed in a charter bus crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The identity of the victim in this most recent crash has not yet been released, although he is from Pennsylvania.