A 68-year-old woman was struck and killed by a school bus which drove away after the accident in the Bronx neighborhood of Castle Hill on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Police have not yet located the driver, nor confirmed if the accident was a hit-and-run, or if the driver was possibly unaware he had hit someone.
The collision occurred at the intersection of Havemeyer and Story Avenues at around 9:45 a.m. Surveillance video, which was taken from a nearby home, captures the victim walking down Havemayer Avenue with bags in each hand when she approaches the intersection, where the bus is stopped at a stop sign.
On the video, the woman starts to cross the street. As she does so, a vehicle on the adjacent road passes by the school bus at the stop sign. Tragically, the driver of the school bus pulls out once the vehicle passes by, striking the victim.
The bus ended up dragging the woman nearly twenty feet before driving away. When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, the victim was unconscious and transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, according to the FDNY. Sadly, she was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital.
Residents of this neighborhood say that there has been a marked increase in the number of school bus yards in their area in the last twenty or so years, creating unsafe traffic conditions which led to this fatality. Other outlets report that although there are signs which read ‘No Buses’ in the area, they are regularly ignored, and buses drive through with impunity.
“A lot of these bus drivers are out of control,” resident Omar Cabrera told PIX11 News. “I’m a driving instructor, and they’ve almost driven me and my students off the road a few times.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family.
Sadly, accidents involving school vehicles are more common that you may realize. Between 2007 and 2014, there was more than 17,000 school vehicle accidents in New York, an average of more than 2,000 per year. This staggering number deserves attention from New Yorkers who may not realize what a danger these vehicles can potentially pose when operated unsafely. State officials also must take notice of this disturbing trend and set forth concrete initiatives to put a stop to them.
All of the government initiatives in the world won’t make a difference, however, until individual New Yorkers who have the responsibility of driving a school bus take their duties more seriously. Although these sorts of crashes don’t necessarily have just one simple cause, the data linked above does give the top Contributing Factors to school vehicle accidents in New York:
- Driver Distraction or Inattention (22.8%)
- Following Too Closely (19.1%)
- Failure to Yield Right of Way (16.2%)
- Slippery Pavement (9.1%)
- Turning Improperly (6%)
- Unsafe Speed (6%)
Until the driver of this school bus can be located, we can only speculate as to how this tragedy could have occurred. Whatever answers the driver is able to provide, however, will not be able to undo the trauma the victim’s family must be dealing with in the wake of this tragedy. The best that can be hoped for at this point is for the responsible parties to be identified so that the family can learn all of the facts and decide whether or not to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The law firm of Block O’Toole & Murphy specializes in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases in New York State and have recovered well over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our attorneys have litigated multiple cases for victims of school bus accidents and have worked tirelessly to pursue every dollar that our clients are legally entitled to. Select results include:
- $2,925,000 settlement in a Bronx case for a driver who was injured in a side impact collision with a school bus
- $1,750,000 settlement for a client who was stopped at a red light when he was rear-ended by a school bus
- $1,490,000 settlement for a 39-year-old driver who suffered neck and back injuries after he was hit by a school bus at an intersection
- $1,350,000 settlement in a Brooklyn case for a 28-year-old mechanic who was hit by a school bus on the Henry Hudson Highway
- $1,350,000 settlement for an NYC pedestrian who was hit by a school bus while she was crossing the street within the crosswalk
Since 2012, Block O’Toole & Murphy attained more case results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm in New York State. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today, please call 212-736-5300. We serve New York and New Jersey.