Shortly after 7:00 p.m. on July 6, 2023, a double-decker tour bus collided with an MTA bus on the East Side of Manhattan. The frightening crash left many individuals requiring medical treatment, with 27 passengers being sent to the hospital and around 50 others receiving treatment at the scene.
According to news reports, the New York City bus was traveling eastbound toward Brooklyn on 23rd Street across 1st Avenue when the tour bus, belonging to tourism company TopView, apparently ran a red light and crashed into it. The MTA bus was standing room only, filled with passengers trying to return home after a busy day at work. The double-decker tour bus was also full at the time of the accident.
“Anytime you have two buses involved, you have a significant number of patients that likely need to be treated — so seeing that quantity of people right away, I think the units did a very good job of getting them off the bus quickly and taking them to the appropriate resources,” FDNY Deputy Chief Kevin Murphy explained. According to Murphy, the rescue was made more difficult by the two levels of the tour bus, which required firefighters to break through windows and use ropes and ladders to remove passengers from the wreck.
Thankfully, it appears no life-threatening injuries were sustained as a result of the accident. Officials say the injuries sustained mostly consisted of minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes, with some passengers suffering fractures and head and neck injuries. We wish a quick and full recovery to each individual involved in this harrowing accident.
The Dangers Involved in Tour Bus Accidents
Collisions involving one bus, let alone two, can have potentially catastrophic consequences due to their size and weight. In order to accommodate the large number of tourists that visit NYC, tour buses are often quite large to provide room for up to 50 or more passengers. The buses alone can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, and even more when fully occupied, making them poised to become deadly weapons if they’re not operated correctly.
Tour bus operators need to practice extra caution when driving these behemoth machines. In fact, tour buses are considered commercial vehicles, and in the United States, they are subject to additional rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this instance, the tour bus would also operate under the New York Department of Transportation’s regulations. Rules include how long drivers can operate a commercial vehicle without taking a break to minimize the risk of fatigue, conducting driver background checks, and making sure the vehicles are inspected regularly. These extra rules are in place to greatly reduce the risk of a collision, as heavier vehicles are more likely to cause serious injuries to passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists impacted by a bus crash.
Sadly, bus operators do not always exercise caution where other lives are concerned. According to NYC Open Data, 11 people were killed in collisions involving buses in New York City in 2022. In some of these crashes, bus driver inattention and failure to yield right of way resulted in these tragic deaths. On TopView’s TripAdvisor page, two reviews discuss bus drivers running red lights. In a May 2019 review, one customer wrote, “The driver was speeding and ran through several red lights during the Night Tour.”
Legal Options Following a Bus Accident
When determining liability for a bus accident, there are a variety of parties who may be found responsible, including the bus driver, bus company, vehicle manufacturer, and other drivers on the road. A thorough investigation is required to shine light on what circumstances caused the accident and who should be held liable for the damages sustained.
It is important victims understand their legal rights in the wake of a bus accident. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of an accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you may have a legal right to compensation for your damages.
The bus accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are well-versed in New York’s traffic laws and dedicated to fighting on behalf of accident victims. Notable firm results include:
- $9,500,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was struck by an NYCTA bus while crossing a Brooklyn street within a crosswalk
- $6,000,000 settlement for a bus passenger who suffered shoulder, knee, and spinal injuries when the bus he was riding on collided with another vehicle