Update: Police Say Tour Bus Driver Who Struck Two Washington, D.C. Pedestrians Was Using His Phone at the Time of the Crash

Last month, we discussed a tragic Washington, D.C. bus accident that claimed the lives of two women who were visiting the nation’s capital from Alaska. Evidently, the women were struck by a private tour bus that was heading northbound on 7th Street, attempting to make a left hand turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue. At the time of the collision, the women were in the crosswalk and had the right-of-way.

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the cause of the crash seemed to be a mystery. The driver told police that he did not see the women in the road. Police noted that the weather was clear, the bus was in good working order, and the bus driver tested negative for drugs and alcohol. It was also determined that the bus had no passengers on it at the time, and the driver had never been issued a traffic citation.

However, according to a recent news report, video surveillance taken from inside the bus was released, showing that the driver of the tour bus was using a handheld phone at the time of the accident. Apparently, the driver was talking on the phone moments before the crash. The driver put the phone down as he approached the intersection, but then picked the phone back up moments later when it rang. The driver could evidently be seen switching the phone from one hand to his other as he was turning on to Pennsylvania Avenue. Reportedly, the collision can be heard on the surveillance video. The bus driver was arrested and charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Washington, D.C. Cell Phone Laws

Over the past decade, the use of cellphones while by motorists has become a significant concern for lawmakers across the country. As of July, 2004, Washington, D.C. enacted a handheld cellphone ban, restricting drivers from using a cellphone to talk or text unless the phone is equipped with a hands-free device. Additionally, school bus drivers and motorists who have only a learners’ permit are not allowed to use a cellphone at all. Drivers who are found in violation can be fined. In addition, the citation may be used by an accident victim to assist them in proving a claim of negligence against the driver.

Have You Been Involved in a Washington, D.C. Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. car accident, contact the dedicated Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. With our help, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation based on the injuries you have sustained. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of your injuries. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Washington, D.C. Car Accidents Occurring on Private Property, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 10, 2019

Recovering After a Washington D.C. Pedestrian Accident, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2018

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