The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine what caused a bus and tractor-trailer to collide on Saturday, killing 15 people in New York. The 56-seat bus then drove through a guardrail, skidded some 480 feet, before turning on its side. A highway sign cut off most of the bus’s roof. Our Washington DC bus accident law firm is continuing to monitor this story and its latest developments.
According to the medical examiner’s office, the victims died from blunt-force trauma as the impact of the crash left passengers bloodied and jumbled over debris, each other, and shattered glass. Most of those who died were of Chinese descent. The latest victim to die is a man in his 70’s. Several others are still in the hospital—six of them in critical condition.
The bus, driving back from the Mohegan Sun casino, is one of a number of buses that travel back and forth between the casinos in Connecticut and New York’s Chinatown. While bus driver Ophadell Williams has said that the tractor-trailer struck the bus, witnesses and survivors says that even prior to the deadly crash, the bus was swerving to the right. Some have speculated that Williams, who has a history of vehicular offenses and served time behind bars for grand larceny and manslaughter, was tired. Meantime, officials are saying that he may have been speeding.
Now, lawmakers are calling on the NTSB to examine the safety regulations for discount tour buses. According to NY Senator Charles Schumer, low-cost tour buses companies have a poor safety record. He believes that numerous traffic crashes that have occurred involving these buses is evidence that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is not doing enough to regulate them.
If, indeed, drowsy driving contributed to causing the deadly semi-bus truck crash, the victims or their families may have grounds for a personal injury case or a wrongful death claim against the bus company and the driver. Commercial drivers owe an extra duty of care to motorists than do other motorists. In the event of a DC bus crash, serious injuries can result for both those in the bus, who likely weren’t using seat belts, and those involved that were pedestrians or the occupants of other vehicles.
With so many discount buses operating in and going in and out of Washington DC, it is important that bus companies and their drivers ensure that passengers are transported safely to and from their destination. If you were involved in a Washington DC bus crash, contact our DC injury law firm today.
Sen. Chuck Schumer demands NTSB oversight of discount buses after fatal Bronx crash, New York Daily News, March 14, 2011
Fatal Bus Crash Driver Had Criminal Record, ABC News, March 14, 2011
15th victim dies from injuries in N.Y. bus crash, The Washington Times, March 14, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Washington DC: Discount Buses, Trip Advisor
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Car Accident News: Bus Passengers Injured after Baltimore Traffic Collision, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 11, 2010
Maryland Family Settles WMATA Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Tragic Valentine’s Day Pedestrian-Bus Accident, Maryland Accident Law Blog, June 30, 2008
Over Two Dozen People Injured In Kensington, Maryland As Two Buses Collide, Maryland Accident Law Blog, March 14, 2007