Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

Federal investigators examining the root cause of a recent school bus accident that resulted in the death of six adults in Maryland determined there were no mechanical issues with the bus. However, they did find the driver had been – at least at one time in the not-too-distant past – taking medication for treatment of seizures. school bus

Local police in Baltimore said in their concurrent investigation they are trying to determine whether the 67-year-old driver may have suffered some type of medical emergency on the morning of the crash. Preliminary results show that the bus rear-ended a Mustang passenger vehicle before careening into oncoming traffic and slamming into a bus operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). The school bus driver, the MTA operator, and four passengers on the MTA bus were killed in the crash. Nearly a dozen people suffered serious injuries.

A police spokesman told The Baltimore Sun that the school employee’s driving record and health history are a significant part of the investigation. The school district disclosed the driver recently passed a department-required physical exam. However, the worker had not yet offered up documentation to the state vehicle administration proving he was in good health. For this reason, he’d lost his commercial driving privileges. Certainly, these issues will become central to any wrongful death lawsuits that will be filed against the school district or the city. Although suing government entities can be a challenge, and damages are typically capped, cases like this often result in settlements before ever making it to trial.

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A child was struck by a car in Charlotte and seriously injured as she walked to her school bus stop on one recent morning. school bus

According to WBTV-3, the incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. on LaSalle Street. Her grandmother reportedly was walking the girl to the stop, and the girl stepped out into the street. The girl’s grandmother said the driver of the vehicle was speeding and did not have time to stop. Witnesses said the car “jumped out of nowhere.” The girl, 11, was thrown into the air and landed hard on the pavement.

Her family is lamenting the fact that the school district had not acquiesced to earlier requests to move the bus stop back to where it had been last year, a block away on the other side of the street. Before, students at that stop did not need to cross the street, which is known by those in the area as a busy thoroughfare, with drivers who tend to ignore speed limits, particularly during the morning rush hour. This, of course, coincides with the time during which students are making their way to their bus stops.

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State troopers are investigating a horrific North Carolina bus accident that happened near Rockingham, about 1.5 hours east of Charlotte and directly south of Greensboro from I-74.bus

Early reports were that between 40 and 50 people were rushed to area hospitals, but the extent of their injuries wasn’t entirely known. Investigators say the bus was carrying a team of football players and coaches from Ramah Juco Academy in Rock Hill, S.C. to Raeford, where they planned to play University of God’s Chosen.

At around 3 p.m., the bus slammed into an overpass on I-74. An early investigation by the North Carolina Highway Patrol indicates the front tire of the bus blew, causing the bus to travel into the median, strike a guardrail and then careen into the overpass. News images of the scene were gruesome, showing the side wall of the bus had been almost entirely torn off. Some of the injured were lying on the ground for some time waiting for help as the more seriously injured were attended.  Continue reading

An investigation by CNN into the practices of one of the country’s largest – and most trusted – charter bus companies reveals the firm appears not to adhere as close to safety guidelines as it purports. highway01

The analysis was prompted by a horrific bus accident in October 2013 in Pennsylvania. The Greyhound bus was headed from New York to Cleveland when it crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer. Hours before, those climbing aboard in New York recalled the driver’s eyes appeared red and bleary. Another passenger said he watched horrified as the driver dozed off at the wheel. A motorist trailing a few vehicles behind watched as the bus drifted across lanes. Later, he would tell reporters, “I remember thinking, ‘They are going to kill somebody.’ ”

The force of the crash resulted in one passenger death and dozens of injuries. Including one of those injured, an 18-year-old aspiring opera singer whose voice box was crushed. She can no longer sing. Continue reading

A charter bus accident resulted in nine deaths and 44 injuries after the casino-bound driver lost control of a rain-slicked highway in Texas. The bus flipped, ejecting numerous passengers onto the pavement. Seven were declared dead at the scene. An eighth died later that day at the hospital. The ninth, an 83-year-old man, died of his injuries more than a week later.bus6

The crash, one of the deadliest in the Lone Star State’s history, occurred just before 11:30 a.m., some 50 miles outside of Laredo. The group was reportedly just 15 miles away from their destination.

Authorities have not said if weather was a definite factor in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was launching an investigation outside the one being conducted by state troopers. All investigators could say at this point was that the driver lost control. A spokesperson with NTSB told NBC News that the bus did have an anti-lock brake system, but it wasn’t active because the system wasn’t mandated at the time the bus was manufactured. It’s unclear whether that may have made a difference in this case.  Continue reading

Motor coaches can be a fast and fuel-efficient way to travel long distances. They can also be fairly dangerous. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported in October 2015 that transit buses accounted for 33 percent of all bus accidents in the country from 2003 to 2013. bus

Further, the number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased by 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 253 to 280, and the vehicle involvement rate for bus crashes increased by 8 percent.

The FMCSA is the federal agency responsible for overseeing motor coach/ transit bus safety in the U.S. It has the power to impose sanctions against companies that flout important safety rules, such as operational equipment, qualified drivers and adequate supervision of driver hours. However, that does not necessarily mean it can be held accountable for bus accidents.  Continue reading

Eight students were hospitalized following a recent school bus accident in Charlotte on Barrington Drive. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photographs of the site, published by WCNC.com, show the front of Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bus sheered off by a tree, with the front right wheel smashed sideways against the trunk.

Authorities say the crash happened when the driver of a Cadillac Escalade approached the Barrington Drive intersection and failed to stop at the red traffic light. The bus was traveling through the intersection at the same time, and the Escalade struck the left front side of the bus. The bus then careened off the right side of the road, striking two trees and coming to a rest. Meanwhile, the Escalade caught fire.  Continue reading

A fatal bus accident in North Carolina on I-95 was allegedly caused by a driver falling asleep, resulting in a collision between a car.
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A 54-year-old grandmother from Florida was killed and eight others were injured, one critically, as a result of the collision, which is being investigated by the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

The bus was carrying 48 passengers who were on their way to a spiritual conference from Queens, NY to Fayetteville. Authorities were later able to ascertain that the driver drifted to the right side of the road as briefly dozed off near the I-40 interchange, about a half hour south of Raleigh. Investigators say when the driver snapped-to, he over-corrected, which resulted in the bus crossing the median, heading south in the northbound lanes and slamming into a guardrail.
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Plaintiff in Sleiter v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co. was one of 19 people injured in a school bus accident.
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Another driver was at-fault for the crash. Through the school district, the bus was insured for a maximum $1 million per accident. However, divided among 19 people, this didn’t leave plaintiff much for the type serious injuries he suffered. He therefore sought coverage through his parents’ underinsured motorist coverage policy for the difference between what he’d collected through the school’s insurance policy and what his actual damages were, under the policy limits of his parent’s policy.

However, the insurer denied this claim, asserting the “coverage available” to plaintiff – $1 million – exceeded his parent’s policy and thus he couldn’t collect. District Court agreed, as did the appellate court. However, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed. The court found the phrase “coverage available” in reference to “excess insurance protection” to be ambiguous, or having more than one reasonable meaning. In such cases, the outcome will be skewed in favor of the injured (as being at a disadvantage for not being the one to write the policy). Further, the court ruled that “coverage available” refers to the benefits actually paid to the insured under other polices, rather than what is actually available.
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Our Spartanburg car accident lawyers understand that seeking punitive damages can lead to extensive litigation. In MV Transp., Inc. v. Richard G. Allgeier (Executor of the Estate of Barbara Allgeier, Diseased), the Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled that punitive damages should be considered in a case involving a bus driver with a history of alcohol abuse.

street-scene-through-rain-glass.jpgIn South Carolina, the award of punitive damages is addressed in Section 15-32-200 of the Code of Laws.

In MV Transp. Inc., Barbara Allgeier was a frequent rider on a Metropolitan Transit Authority of River City (“TARC”) paratransit bus service. The paratransit bus service is operated by MV Transportation, Inc. (“MV”). A paratransit bus is a bus that is equipped to safely transport passengers in wheelchairs. The bus involved in this case was the TARC 3.
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