NJ Transit bus driver Thomas Truex, who had 26 years on the job, was found dead in his idling bus at the Port Authority bus terminal yesterday—five hours after he was supposed to have headed back to the Meadowlands to return the vehicle to the garage. Investigators say the death isn't being treated as suspicious, but the incident has the Port Authority and NJ Transit scrambling to do damage control.
Truex dropped off his last passengers at 10:30 a.m., but his body wasn't found until almost five hours later, and NJ Transit didn't notice the bus was missing until 3 p.m. Around the same time, the Port Authority called NJ Transit to alert them that one of their buses was "not in a good location," and had been parked for some time in a spot where drivers usually park for a quick bathroom or coffee break. When a NJ Transit supervisor went to check it out, he found Truex dead in a passenger seat. The cause of death is so far unknown.
Port Authority Spokesman Steve Coleman tells the North Jersey Record, "We probably need to take a look at coordination we have with operation staff in terms of making sure if anything looks out of place or a driver didn’t report back that there are employees who can notify us ASAP so we can check it out." And New Jersey Transit said they'll look at their procedures moving forward. In the meantime, if you're looking to take a bus for a joyride, you've got at least a five hour window before anybody starts wondering where the hell it went.