Corey Thomas was riding a motorcycle in the town of Esopus when he was hit by a school bus driver who failed to yield the right of way on the morning of Thursday, April 25, 2019.
When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Thomas, a 26-year-old from Kingston, had suffered serious injuries. He was then taken by helicopter to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital for medical treatment.
An investigation by the sheriff’s office determined that the school bus driver, 70-year-old John Chichester, struck Thomas after failing to yield the right of way while entering Route 9 West from Cross Street, according to Patch.
At the time of the accident, ten students from Bailey Middle School were on the school bus. The students were evaluated by emergency services at the scene and, luckily, no injuries have so far been reported. The bus driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield the right of way at an intersection.
It is being reported that Thomas did not have a license to operate a motorcycle, for which he received a ticket. It’s also reported that he did not have insurance and that he was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Corey Thomas, his friends and family, and the loved ones of the children on the school bus when the accident occurred.
School bus accidents might be more common than you realize. From 2007 – 2014, there were more than 17,000 accidents involving school vehicles in New York, an average of more than 2,000 a year, according to the New York State DMV.
These accidents haven’t stopped. Less than two months ago, a woman was seriously injured by a school bus while trying to cross the street in Queens. Weeks earlier, a 68-year-old woman was killed by a school bus in the Bronx. In January, multiple school children were hospitalized after a bus accident in Brooklyn.
To prevent these accidents from occurring, we need to understand why they happen in the first place. Here were the leading causes of New York school vehicle accidents between 2007 and 2014:
- Driver Inattention or Distraction (22.84%)
- Following Too Closely (19.09%)
- Failure to Yield Right of Way (16.21%)
School bus drivers are trusted with the safety of children. They also drive heavy vehicles that can cause severe injury or even death if they get into an accident. This is an incredible responsibility which needs to be treated with great care.
Investigators may try to determine if anything in the driving or medical history of the school bus driver could have indicated the possibility of a future motor vehicle accident. The question of whether an accident was foreseeable or not is always important to answer.
The attorneys of Block O’Toole & Murphy have successfully litigated many complex bus accidents, such as:
- $3,000,000 settlement for a motorist who was struck by a bus in Brooklyn
- $2,925,000 settlement for a man who was struck by a bus which failed to yield the right of way
- $1,490,000 settlement after a man was severely injured in a collision with a school bus
- $1,350,000 settlement for a woman who suffered severe back injuries after being struck by a school bus