On May 19th, 2020, a frightening accident occurred at East New York Avenue near Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn when an MTA B12 bus driver lost control of his vehicle, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Multiple people were reported injured as a result of the accident. Luckily, police report all victims are in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.
At around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday evening, the MTA bus was traveling along East New York Avenue when the driver reportedly suffered a medical episode that caused him to lose control. The bus jumped the sidewalk, hit a light post, three small trees, a street sign, and two parked cars. The bus was traveling at such a high speed that it knocked a parked van into a building. After hurtling through the sidewalk, the bus continued into the intersection of East New York Avenue and Ralph Avenue where it came to a stop after hitting a parked Uber BMW carrying two passengers.
About 11 people were injured in the accident: 3 people in the Uber, 1 pedestrian struck by the light post, 3 pedestrians struck by debris, and 5 people on the bus, including the driver. At least 8 people were treated for minor injuries at Brookdale University Medical Center while 3 others refused medical attention. We hope all victims are able to recover quickly after this troubling incident.
Police are investiagting the exact cause of the accident. The MTA driver was tested for alcohol and drug use, but no charges have been made. MTA spokesman Tim Minton said in a statement, “The operator was not suspended. He is being held out from further bus operations pending results of the review, both internal and the investigation by the NYPD.”
Witnesses shared details on the alarming events. Denise Gomez told reporters, “The bus was traveling outside a high rate of speed swerving in and out of both lanes. There was a man lying under the street pole. He wasn’t moving, paramedics picked him up first and they hauled him out of here.”
Locals shared that the street where the accident occurred is normally very busy. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, few people were out walking. It is very likely that more people could have been injured had the accident occurred at another time.
When determining the liability of an auto accident, the situation becomes slightly more complex in the case of a medical emergency. If a driver suffers a medical emergency that leads to a loss of consciousness, causing an accident, they may not be held liable for their inability to act. However, the driver must be able to prove that the medical emergency occurred before the accident, it directly caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, and that it was an unforseen occurrence.
To avoid liability, the driver has to be able to prove that the medical emergency was indeed sudden. Meaning, the driver was unaware of any symptoms that existed before the accident occurred. If the driver was aware of their condition, but still proceeded to operate a vehicle, then they may be found guilty of behaving negligently. Proper investigation is very important in determining fault in such an accident.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by the negligent behavior of another party, you may be entitled to receive legal compensation for your losses. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have obtained more than $1 billion for clients injured in accidents, including a $6,000,000 settlement for a city bus passenger that was injured when the bus collided with another vehicle at an intersection in Brooklyn.