Bus accidents can lead to severe or fatal injuries, largely due to the size and weight of the vehicle. Recently, ABC News reported that two church group members died after the charter bus they were riding on slammed into the Miami International Airport overpass.
Authorities said that the large white bus, carrying 32 members of the church group, smashed into the overpass after the driver lost his way. In addition to the two deaths, three passengers were seriously injured.
There are two signs in this area, warning high vehicles of the overpass limits. One of the signs attached to the top of the concrete barrier warns high vehicles to stop and take a left turn. The other, to the left of the driveway several feet in front of the barrier, instructs vehicles taller than the 8-foot-6 limit to turn left.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm advise bus and truck drivers around the country to adhere to height requirements. This will help them avoid risking their lives as well as that of their passengers. In this recent charter bus accident, it appears that the driver was not familiar with the airport and did not notice the warning signs.
An airport spokesman revealed that the bus was too tall to go through the entrance to the arrivals section, and that buses were expected to proceed through the departures section owing to its higher clearance. He also said the bus was proceeding at a speed of approximately 20 mph when it hit the overpass.
A Miami-Dade police spokesman said that the driver’s lack of familiarity with the area around the airport may have led him to take the wrong ramp. This led him to airport property, where he mistakenly took the vehicle through an overpass that was too low for it.
Police revealed that an 86-year-old Miami man died at the scene of the crash. Another man, 56 years of age, passed away at the hospital. Three people were left with serious injuries, and another 27 were injured.
Based on information from passengers, it appears that that they were members of a group of Jehova’s Witnesses on their way to a city in Florida. In a news release, police said that the group chartered the bus to transport them to a church convention in that city.
Authorities said that the vehicle was privately owned and was usually used for tours.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records show that the company that owned the vehicle did not have any history of violations for alcohol, controlled substances or unsafe driving. It also did not report any crashes over a 2 year period preceding November this year. However, it did get three citations pertaining to driver tiredness in April 2011.
In related news, the driver of a school bus was killed and some others hurt when a cement truck broadsided the school bus in a New York hamlet.
The 44-year-old driver of the cement truck was moving southbound and supposedly did not know that his vehicle would not be able to pass underneath a train overpass.
The cement truck slammed into the bridge and the force of the collision caused the cement truck barrel to be dislodged resulting in the driver losing control. The truck then collided head-on with a school bus moving in the opposite direction, proving deadly for the bus driver.
Four students on board the school bus were taken to hospital. Residents of the area pointed out that other drivers of large vehicles often attempt to drive under the overpass in spite of the presence of many warning signs.
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