Bus accidents are a common occurrence in the busy metropolis of New York City. Usually, when passengers are injured in a bus accident, it is while they are on the bus. However, in a somewhat unusual series of events, a fatal bus crash took place this week in the Elmhurst section of Queens where a passenger was crushed by the bus she was riding on, only seconds after she exited the bus.
Melania Ward, a resident of Elmhurst, was riding on the Q47 bus shortly after 10pm. She left the bus near 80th Street and Astoria Blvd South. She then attempted to cross the boulevard. As she proceeded, the front of the bus that she just exited slammed in to her. The bus then subsequently ran her over.
Witnesses watched in horror. Some passengers, including witness Jan Lim, recounted sitting next to Ms. Ward on the bus only seconds earlier and then seeing the bus barrel into her. Lim tried to comfort Ward after the accident, encouraging her to fight and keep breathing, as she lay helplessly in the street. Ward was rushed to nearby Elmhurst Hospital where doctors were unable to save her.
The N.Y.P.D. and the MTA are actively investigating the circumstances of the accident. As details emerge, we will provide them to you. This tragedy underscores the need for safe, level handed and conscientious bus operators. One mistake can cost a person their life. Here, the investigation will focus on certain issues:
- Where did the pedestrian enter the street?
- Was there a traffic device that governed the area?
- Was there a crosswalk in the area and was it being used?
- Did the bus operator provide passengers enough time to cross the busy boulevard in front of the bus?
- Was the bus operator looking to see what was there to be seen as it began to accelerate?
- Did the driver have an opportunity to see Ms. Ward and fail to take the appropriate steps?
These issues will, perhaps, shed light on why this accident happened. Still, there is nothing that will bring Ms. Ward back to her family and friends and that is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. May the summon the strength to move forward with their own lives.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a team of talented and accomplished trial lawyers that have a wealth of experience in handling bus accident cases. Their victories on bus accident cases include a $6,000,000 Settlement at Trial, a $3,000,000 Settlement and a $2,056,656 Jury Verdict. They have amassed more than $800,000,000 in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their injured clients. To learn more about these committed lawyers you can review the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, you can call them at 212.736.5300.