The early morning rush hour in Flushing turned into a scene of horror on a Monday morning last month when a charter bus careened through a red light and struck an MTA bus. The charter struck the MTA Q20 line bus so hard that it spun it entirely around, and then the charter continued on to crash into parked cars and a building, starting a small fire.
The driver of the charter was killed in the crash, as were two pedestrians at the scene when the buses went onto the sidewalk. Seventeen others on the MTA bus and the street were injured, with three victims reported to be in critical condition a day after the accident. There were no other injuries or fatalities on the charter because it was empty at the time of the crash.
Blame Being Assessed
So far, everything points toward the charter bus driver causing the September 18 crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) became involved immediately, and their preliminary investigation found that the charter was speeding: It was doing between 54 and 62 mph when it rammed the MTA bus, which was taking a right from Main Street to head east on Northern Boulevard.
That information was derived from video surveillance recordings at the scene and is supported by eyewitness accounts. Another driver said she saw the bus run at least two red lights while speeding eastbound on Northern Boulevard immediately before the collision.
The NTSB hasn’t made a final determination, and will look into all aspects of the crash, including an analysis of three electronic recording devices (“black boxes”) recovered from the buses. Blood samples from both drivers will be checked for substances that could cause impairment.
It’s already come to light that the charter driver had been fired by the MTA in 2015 because of an off-duty drunken driving crash. He was, however, still legally allowed to hold a commercial license and to drive a bus. It’s been reported that the charter company did not report new hires properly to the state or run thorough background checks. The charter company, Dahlia, is known to have had at least two other fatal crashes since 2003, resulting in three deaths.
At least one victim injured in the incident has announced that he intends to sue all those determined to be responsible for the crash.
NYC Bus Accident Lawyer
Pursuing a personal injury claim caused by a bus accident can be a complicated matter. The actions of the driver make him or her an obvious part of most cases, but the bus company likely has some responsibility, either because of its hiring or training practices or for some other reason. Bus manufacturers or maintenance providers might also be parties to a suit if a crash was in some way caused by a defective part or bad repair work. Still others might have played some role.
The team at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has experience with bus accident cases and understands their complex nature. Give us a call at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or contact us online through the form below to discuss your case free of charge and get the process started.