Pennsylvania Bus Crash leaves One Killed, Dozens Injured

Bus accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report on a recent bus crash on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania involving a Greyhound bus and large truck. At least one person is confirmed dead, and over 40 are reported injured.

The crash occurred around 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, October 9, 2013 near Williamsport in the center of the state. In viewing CNN video, the Greyhound appeared to slam into the back of a large tractor-trailer hauling garbage from New York City. The bus was also coming from New York City, on a nonstop trip to Cleveland, Ohio.

The Greyhound was carrying nearly 50 passengers, 40 of whom were taken to local hospitals, four in critical condition. The driver of the tractor trailer, uninjured, got out of his truck after the accident to help injured passengers climb out of windows. He stated that the bus driver was trapped in her seat and had to be extricated by first responders.

The truck driver recounted the gruesome death of the bus passenger, who flew from the bus, through the front wind shield and landed on top of the tractor trailer. Luggage and personal belongings were scattered across the highway as police investigated and tried to reconstruct the fatal crash.

Accident reconstruction like this is an extremely useful tool, not only to determine how a crash occurred but in litigation as well. It is used on a regular basis by law firms representing victims of catastrophic motor vehicle crashes. Accident reconstruction is the scientific process of investigating, analyzing, and attempting to determine what the causes and events leading up to and during a crash.

Reconstructionists (forensic engineers, specialized police units, or private contractors) consider factors such as the role of the drivers and vehicles involved, environmental surroundings, and roadway conditions. This documentation provides excellent evidence that can be presented at trial as proof of fault. Reconstructions are normally done only if there is a fatality or very serious injury resulting from a crash.

This type of evidence can help a jury understand how and why a crash happened the way it did. Reconstructionists are trained to map and diagram the specifics of the scene, determine speed, time and distance of vehicles involved, and recreate the actual crash using this data. They do this by collecting video, photographs, measurements, eyewitness accounts, physical evidence like tire marks, and depositions, etc.

Experts then use reconstruction software, such as collision simulators, momentum programs, and photogrammetry software, to analyze the data. Forensic engineers compile report findings, animations, and diagrams, to form conclusions and testimonies. Juries, then, are shown the accident reconstruction animation to better understand the expert opinions and case in general.

Most big trucks, perhaps even the tractor trailer involved in the Pennsylvania crash, have electronic engine controls that records engine data. This information can be used in court to show how and when truck drivers apply brakes, their speed, maintenance history, and other pertinent information.

In related news, the 2014 model of the EZ Traveler, sold by Sunset Park & RV, was recently recalled due to manufacturing defects. The awning on those trailers may unexpectedly unfold because of faulty assembly screws. Awnings may even unfold while the RV is in motion on roadways, significantly increasing the risk of a serious crash. Detaching awnings can actually cause very serious injury on roadways given their size and weight.

Truck crash lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand that being injured in a large bus or truck accident can leave victims feeling confused and angry. It is important to contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights and help you pursue a claim to its full potential. Our attorneys offer free, no-obligation legal consultations to injured victims nationwide.