At least two people died and dozens of passengers were injured in a bus accident after a charter bus bound for New York City flipped on a highway ramp in Virginia. According to an NBC news report, 57 people including the driver were in the bus. The driver, a 40-year-old Staten Island man, has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. One of the two people killed has been identified as an 81-year-old woman from Queens. The other person was identified as a 37-year-old man, a Chinese national. Dozens more, including children, were injured.
The charter bus, owned by Tao Travel Inc., was traveling from Florida to New York with 57 people on board when it ran off the left side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp and rolled. Officials are looking into whether fog or driver fatigue may have caused the early morning crash. One of the passengers said the bus was moving very fast when it went out of control and rolled.
A number of passengers were ejected from the bus onto the street. Online records for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that the Massachusetts-based company with four vehicles and eight drivers logged 900,000 miles last year. Records also show no accidents were reported in the past two years, but list five violations in that period including speeding and defective or no emergency exit windows.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Regardless of how or why bus accidents occur, they tend to result in major injuries and/or deaths. This is because most charter buses or tour buses do not have safety devices such as seatbelts that keep passengers tethered to their seats in the event of a crash. As a result, passengers get thrown around the bus or get ejected from the bus causing catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Here are some of the most common causes of charter or tour bus accidents:
Driver fatigue: All commercial vehicle drivers including bus drivers are required to get sufficient rest before getting on the roadway. But, often, we find that tour bus drivers and companies ignore these critical federal rules to turn a bigger profit. When drivers fall asleep at the wheel of a bus, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Excessive speed: A number of tour bus drivers tend to travel at an excessive rate of speed, particularly during late night or early morning hours, in order to make up for lost time or get to a destination on time. This may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.
Poor vehicle maintenance: When the bus is not properly maintained, critical parts such as tires or brakes may fail resulting in loss of vehicle control.
Impaired driving: When a bus driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, there is a higher likelihood of loss of vehicle control and a catastrophic crash.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Injured bus accident victims have legal rights. If an accident was caused by negligence (carelessness) on the part of the bus driver or bus company, injured victims or families of deceased victims can seek compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, bus company, bus operator, etc. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a charter bus accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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