Passengers on a MTA bus were briefly stricken with terror when the bus they were traveling in violently crashed into a metal pillar under the FDR Drive earlier this week. An investigation is ongoing and law enforcement is focusing on driver distraction as a cause of this crash. They suspect the driver looked away from the road and attempted to grab a drink right before the collision.
The QM11 bus then careened out-of-control, jumping a barrier and then striking a support pillar. The crash took place while the bus was turning around a bend on the service road on the northbound side of the FDR near 34th St. in Midtown Manhattan. The crash left the frightened passengers stuck in the bus. Emergency personnel raced to the scene and firefighters had to use an axe and a crowbar to pry open a door and free the frightened passengers.
One passenger suffered serious injuries and was rushed to NYU Medical Center. The driver was also injured in the crash. He has other worries to concern himself with. Investigators are focusing on him as the cause of the near deadly accident and witnesses are helping them, painting a picture of him as a careless driver. One witness has reportedly alleged that the driver was going way too fast. We will continue to follow the investigation. The driver faces, at the very least, internal disciplinary measures.
Bus accidents are not always what they appear to be immediately after a crash. Injuries may appear immediately but often they manifest themselves over time. This impact was sudden and jarring. Unsuspecting passengers were sent flying in the aisles. It became immediately apparent that some passengers suffered serious injuries. It remains to be seen what the consequences of this crash will be for others. Often passengers benefit from adrenaline at the scene of an accident and experience severe physical pain later. We hope that whatever residual damage occurs is kept to a minimum and that all of the folks on the bus are able to move forward with their life.
A bus is a place that passengers treat as a safe haven. Time on a bus is spent reading, going through emails, listening to music or talking to friends. People don’t want to get on a bus having to worry about a violent collision. Agencies like the MTA recognize this and make an effort to hire qualified, careful drivers. This well-intentioned priority is not always easy because their applicant pool does not always permit it.
A serious bus accident can impact a person for a very long time. If you have been involved in a serious bus crash then you need to make some important, life shaping decisions. Do your injuries warrant a trip to the hospital or a visit with your doctor? Can you safely return to work? Should you retain a lawyer experienced in bus accident cases? There is no playbook that can answer these questions for you. Just make sure that you’re considering all of your options and use your common sense. Better safe than sorry.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that has recovered some of New York’s highest bus accident verdicts and settlements. Among the nearly $1 billion that the firm has recovered on behalf of their clients, several are victories for victims of bus accidents including a $6,000,000 Settlement, a $3,000,000 Settlement and a $2,200,000 Settlement. You may contact the lawyers at the firm at any time by calling 212.736.5300.