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Bronx Collision Between MTA Bus and FDNY Fire Truck Leaves 26 Injured

Dozens were injured when a fire truck, which was responding to a medical emergency and which had its lights on and sirens blaring, collided with an MTA bus at the intersection of East 175th Street and Webster Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood of Mount Hope. 

Shocking video of the incident shows the FDNY fire truck approach the intersection with lights flashing and make a left onto Webster Avenue, only to be struck at its back end as it nearly completes the left turn.

26 people involved in the crash, including the five firefighters who were in the Engine 46 fire truck, 20 bus passengers, and the bus driver himself, were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries, which were described in multiple news outlets as minor. According to the Bronx News 12, witnesses say that the bus had a green light when it drove through the intersection.

The driver of the BX41 bus was badly hurt in the crash, as the front left end of the bus sustained serious damage and part of the window was sheared off. A witness told the NY Daily News that the driver "was bleeding when they put him in the ambulance."

That same witness, 44-year-old Youssoufou Sawago, also said that "There were lots of kids on the bus. Everyone came off and they put the kids in the ambulance."

Our hearts go out to everybody who was involved in this distressing incident.

Fire fighters provide an absolutely critical service to the public, and it is sad to see them injured in the line of duty; likewise, bus drivers perform an important function getting passengers to where they need to be in a safe and timely manner.

Studies have shown that crashes involving emergency vehicles are a real and ongoing problem. Various statistics provided to illustrate that point show that, nationwide:

  • 559 law enforcement officers were killed in vehicle crashes between 2000 and 2008
  • 179 firefighters died in fire truck crashes from 2004 to 2013
  • 97 emergency services technicians were killed in ambulance collisions between 1993 and 2011

This study also reveals that the traffic-related fatality rate among law enforcement officers, EMS technicians and firefighters are 2.5 to 4.8 times higher than the national average. These are three critical jobs which all serve the public health, safety and interest, and they must be kept as safe as possible as they are performing their duties.

As is to be expected, traffic laws governing emergency vehicles which are responding to a call are different than the laws governing the general public. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1104 states that, when performing an emergency operation, the driver of an emergency vehicle may:

  • "Proceed past a steady red signal, a flashing red signal or a stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;
  • Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property;
  • Disregard regulations governing directions of movement or turning in specified directions."

There is not nearly enough information available about the facts of this case to speculate as to who is at fault. But this does not change the fact that anyone who was injured in this accident may be in severe pain, with medical bills required to treat their injuries and no easy way to pay them. If you or a loved one were injured in this accident or one similar, you will want an experienced attorney by your side to recover compensation for the damages you've suffered.

The experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have won numerous multi-million dollar results for New Yorkers who were injured in a bus accident. Select results include:

Call 212-736-5300 to receive a free legal consultation-there is no charge unless we win your case.