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Georgia changing exits like one where bus crashed

Story Highlights

• Officials will add signs, striping, raise pavement
• 7 killed after bus took commuter-lane exit, plunged off overpass
• Bus was carrying Bluffton University baseball team
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ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- 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.

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 also 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.

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the accident.

"Anything that can be done now to prevent future accidents is significant," Bluffton University President James Harder said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


story.bus.ap.jpg

The baseball team's charter bus lies on its side in the southbound lanes of I-75 in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday March 2.

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