KÜTAHYA, TURKEY (BNO NEWS) — A passenger bus slammed into a tree in western Turkey on early Tuesday morning after the driver of the vehicle fell asleep behind the wheel, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens more, local media reported on Wednesday.
The accident happened at around 5:30 a.m. local time on the Kütahya-Eskişehir highway in Kütahya province when the vehicle went off the road, drove into a wooded area and slammed into several trees. Photos from the scene showed the front of the vehicle was badly mangled.
Police told the Doğan News Agency that seven people who were sitting in the front seats were killed, including a child and the bus driver who was identified as Faruk Demiralp. At least 38 other passengers were injured and rushed to area hospitals, where some people were listed to be in a critical condition.
Motorists who witnessed the accident stopped to help the victims exit the bus.
The news agency said Demiralp is believed to have fallen asleep behind the wheel, but police were still carrying out their investigation. The vehicle, which was carrying around 50 people, had departed Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul and was heading toward the Mediterranean province of Antalya.