Dozens Injured in Chicagoland Bus Crashes

Bus accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that about 16 people have been injured in two separate CTA bus crashes yesterday, Wednesday October 9, 2013. The first crash occurred during morning rush in the Loop, the second around noon on Chicago’s West Side.

The crash in the Loop sent eight passengers to the hospital after another vehicle, possibly a taxi, cut the CTA bus off at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Five ambulances were sent to the scene, though fortunately none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

The West Side crash occurred in the East Garfield Park neighborhood around noon the same day, also involving a CTA bus. Two vehicles crashed into one another at the intersection of Madison and Homan, one of them ultimately striking the CTA stopped at a bus stop. Another eight passengers aboard the No. 82 Kimball bus were injured and taken to the hospital, all in stable condition. Nine other people, not including the CTA bus driver, sustained minor injuries.

Large passenger buses are generally considered a safe mode of transportation, and millions rely on them to get to and from work and school every day. Like any other motor vehicle, however, they are not without their own faults and risks. Because of the size and weight of buses, along with the large number of passengers they carry, even minor accidents like the two in Chicago yesterday can lead to serious injuries and even death. Particularly in a metropolitan area, other drivers contribute heavily to bus accidents.

In 2005 in the mountains of Colorado, two migrant workers were killed when a bus fishtailed and struck a guard rail at about 75 miles per hour. The bus was owned and operated by Los Paisanos Bus Company; at trial, the company testified that the vehicle had been inspected prior to the Colorado trip and that it was in “excellent condition.”

Evidence present to the jury, however, proved otherwise. Pictures taken from the scene of the crashed showed bald, decrepit tires and a complete lack of seatbelts. Passengers in the bus testified saying that, while they were fishtailing and careening down the snowy mountain, they were screaming and scrambling to find seat belts, to no avail.

One of the passengers killed was pinned under the bus after it struck the guard rail, suffocating to death before emergency responders could get to him. The second passenger killed flew from the bus, landing about 80 feet from the crash site. A passerby stopped to help her, later stating that she was crying out in Spanish about severe chest pain. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died two days later.

The jury ultimately ordered Los Paisanos to pay the victims, seven in total, $132.5 million in damages. They also assigned 20% of the blame to the driver, who was arrested for reckless driving after the crash.

A similar crash occurred on a tour bus in Virginia, resulting in a criminal investigation into the bus company, Sky Express. That accident took four lives and resulted in numerous lawsuits against the driver and company, which has an illustrious history of reckless conduct, safety violations and citations.

The passenger bus was traveling on Interstate 95 when it suddenly swerved off the road and rolled over. Nearly 60 people were riding on the bus, four of whom were killed and dozens injured. Authorities confirmed that the driver either fell asleep at the wheel or was extremely fatigued, as the crash occurred in the early morning hours.

Sky Express has been cited for fatigued driving numerous times over the past few years. The company, like many others, routinely schedules overnight trips along the East Coast. Sky Express has been cited eight times for speeding, 17 times for unsafe driving, and a whopping 46 times for fatigued driving in the past two years alone.

Bus crash lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will continue to report on major bus accidents, their causes and consequent lawsuits. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a bus accident caused by the negligence of the driver or bus company, you have important legal rights. We can help you obtain maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and emotional distress.

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