Georgia to improve exits in wake of crash

Updated: March 13, 2007, 2:22 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Georgia highway officials investigating a deadly bus crash said Tuesday they would add safety measures to several commuter-lane exits like the one the baseball team's bus had taken before it plunged off an overpass two weeks ago.

Seven people on the bus died from their injuries, five of them baseball players from Bluffton University in Ohio.

Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman David Spear said the state would be adding signs and adding reflective striping to seven similar ramps starting Wednesday.

The bus driver apparently mistook one of the Atlanta-area commuter-lane exit ramps for a lane, officials said. The bus crossed through a T-intersection at the top of the ramp and careered over the retaining wall of the overpass to the interstate, 30 feet below. The driver and his wife died in the crash.

Spear declined to say whether the new safety measures could have prevented the March 2 wreck.

He said Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl decided to make the safety changes based on recommendations from department engineers after the bus wreck.

The changes can be made quickly and without having to get permits to add overhead signs or other devices, Spear said. More significant alterations to the ramps could come with time after engineers study the exits more, he said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press