Bus Accident Lawyer

Dozens Killed in Bus Crash in France

A tour bus carrying several dozen people, mostly senior citizens taking a wine tour, was involved in a devastating and fiery accident on the morning of Friday, October 23, 2015. The bus had begun its journey less than a half-hour before the horrific accident took place in the south of France, not far from the Bordeaux region whose wineries are world-renowned. A little after 7:00 a.m., the bus collided with a large truck carrying timber and being driven by a man who was transporting his three-year-old son at the time of the accident. Both the driver and the young boy were killed following the crash, as were 41 tourists on board the bus at the time of the accident.

When the two vehicles collided, flames quickly engulfed both bus and truck, leading to a high fatality count and leaving eight more people alive, but injured. All those hurt in the crash were quickly transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation and treatment. Four of the injured parties were reported as being in serious or critical condition; there is no word yet on whether any of the injured parties are expected to survive. The identities of the deceased have not been released, and there is some concern that the list containing passenger names may have been destroyed in the flames that consumed the bus following the crash. Identifying deceased passengers may be further complicated due to the damage done to the bodies by the fire after the crash.

The driver of the bus is being hailed as a hero by members of the French government and those he assisted, as he helped the surviving people free themselves from the wreckage of the bus while waiting for first responders to arrive on scene. Investigating authorities have reported that the wood on the truck and the full gas tank of the tour bus may have contributed to the fast spread of the vehicular fires. The collision is being called the worst accident to take place on French roadways in more than three decades.

Connecticut Coach Bus Crash Ends in Fatality

A coach bus carrying more than 40 passengers collided with a semi-truck on Interstate 95 near Norwalk, Connecticut on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 7, 2015, leaving one person dead and at least three dozen injured. The deceased has been identified as Mr. Henry Woolfson, aged 31, who hailed from Hackensack, New Jersey and was driving the tour bus at the time of the crash. His 32nd birthday would have been the day after the accident, and he is survived by an infant son.

Most passengers traveling on the tourist bus were New Jersey residents en route to New York City. The bus was traveling from Boston to New York when the accident took place. The exact cause of the accident is not yet known, and the accident remains under investigation by Connecticut State Police at this time. The bus is reported to have rear-ended the semi-truck while both were traveling in the middle lane of southbound Interstate 95. The driver of the truck, reported to be Sarkor Umarkhod, aged 32, reported no injuries as a result of the crash.

This is the second major accident to take place on this segment of Interstate 95 in recent months, and as such, Connecticut State Troopers have increased patrols in the area in an effort to ensure traffic safety. Most injured parties in the crash were transported to Norwalk Hospital and three were taken to Stamford Hospital for medical evaluation and treatment. None of the injuries were reported as being life-threatening.

The coach bus involved in the crash was owned by Floridian company R.C. Travelways, Inc., whose accident record has remained spotless up to this point for the past two years. The semi-truck was owned by Trucking Experts of Markham, Illinois. Safety and accident records for the national trucking corporation have not been made available to the public.

Four Fatalities Result From Bus Crash in Seattle

A collision between an amphibious tour bus and a charter bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge on Thursday, September 24, 2015 resulted in four fatalities and more than a dozen critical injuries. Several more dozen people were transported to area hospitals following the crash. The victims who sustained the worst injuries were transported to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. All fatalities were determined to be international college students attending North Seattle College. Each student hailed from a different country: Privando Putradanto, aged 18, was from Indonesia; Claudia Derschmidt, aged 49, was from Austria; Mami Sato, 36, was from Japan. The final fatality was a student from China whose name is being withheld due to the victim being of minor age.

The amphibious vehicle was a Ride the Ducks tour bus. Officials from the company have reported that they will not be sending anymore amphibious buses on tours until further notice. The charter bus was owned by Bellair Charters. The deadly collision between these two vehicles took place on Washington’s State Route 99. The cause of the crash remains unknown at this time, although witnesses have stated that the amphibious bus appeared to veer into the charter bus. The investigation into the contributing factors leading up to the accident, headed by the National Transportation Safety Board, continues.

The Aurora Bridge and surrounding roadways was closed for several hours pending the crash, which left extensive damage to both vehicles directly involved. The roads have since been re-opened, although the investigation into the crash will mean NTSB officials on site in the near future, examining the structure of the bridge itself in order to determine if structural issues may have played a contributing role in the crash. The vehicles themselves, as well as the drivers of the vehicles, will also undergo a thorough investigation in order to determine the main factor that caused the tragic accident.

Ride the Ducks tours are a popular attraction for tourists who wish to see the sights from land and on the water, as the vehicles double as boats in the waterways. However, Ride the Ducks buses have been involved in fatal collisions in the past: this year, one of the amphibious vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Pennsylvania, and back in 2010 one of the bus-boats became disabled in the water and was subsequently struck by another boat, leading to the deaths of two tourists from Hungary.

Virginia School Bus Sideswiped by Car

A Suffolk Public School bus was sideswiped by a late model Ford vehicle while traveling on Pughsville Road late in the afternoon of Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Although no injuries were reported as a result of the crash, the damage to the bus was reported as substantial and the bus may no longer be operable following the accident. More than 40 students were on board the bus at the time of the incident.

The students on the bus were all attendees of Creekside Elementary School. They were en route home from school when, for reasons that have not yet been made clear, the bus and a Ford Fusion sideswiped one another, leading to heavy vehicular damages but resulting in no one being hurt. First responders evaluated all passengers and both drivers, releasing everyone on scene. Some students finished their journey home on board an alternate bus, while other students’ parents arrived after the incident to transport their own children home.

A portion of Pughsville Road was closed and detours set up following the crash for a short time following the accident. Parents of students attending Creekside Elementary were contacted and informed about the incident, and officials from the school district stated that the Creekside principal would be following up with concerned parents about the incident later in the evening.

According to data released by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were more than 500 school bus crashes in 2014—the last year for which crash data was made available—more than 270 of which resulted in injuries to bus occupants. However, there were no deaths attributed to traffic accidents involving school buses for that same year. School bus crashes accounted for only half a percent of all traffic accidents on Virginia’s roadways in 2014.

More Than a Dozen Killed in Brazil Bus Crash

At least 15 people lost their lives and several dozen more were injured in a bus accident south of Rio de Janeiro and north of Sao Paolo, near the Brazilian town of Paraty on the afternoon of Sunday, September 6, 2015. The bus was carrying passengers to Trinade, a popular beach destination not far from where the crash took place. The road upon which the accident occurred is notoriously accident prone, colloquially termed “God Help Me Hill” by area locals.

The roadways across the nation have been clogged with traffic, as the weekend marks the Brazilian Independence Day holiday. Many travelers head to the coastal areas to celebrate their country’s freedom with family and friends. Difficult-to-navigate mountain passes surround the area where this accident took place, and when they become congested with drivers, disaster can strike without warning.

The bus overturned on a shoulder of the treacherous roadway, but the exact cause of the accident has not yet been reported. There have been no statements made regarding weather conditions, nor whether the driver of the bus was potentially fatigued or intoxicated. Many of the wounded passengers were taken to area medical centers via helicopter transport, with others being hauled away in ambulances. It is not known how many passengers in total were on board at the time of the crash.

According to data released by the World Health Organization, only 1 percent of road accidents involve buses. However, Brazil’s roadways were the setting of more than 37,000 traffic accidents in the year 2009 and averages more than 40,000 accident-related deaths per year, making them particularly treacherous for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. A road safety project has been implemented in recent years to study ways in which Brazil can improve its roadways and traffic laws for the betterment of public safety overall.

Tennessee School Bus Accident Causes Concern for Road Size

A school bus ended up in what is being called a freak accident in Lincoln County, Tennessee on the morning of Thursday, August 6, 2015 when it pulled onto the shoulder of a narrow roadway, only to have the shoulder collapse under the weight of the vehicle. Neither the driver nor any of the students on board the bus at the time of the incident were injured in the accident.

The bus pulled to the side of the road in order to allow another, oncoming vehicle—a pickup truck—to pass. This maneuver was necessary due to the slim size of the road. When the bus pulled over to make way for the truck, it reportedly caused the gravel of the road shoulder to give. This led to the bus turning over on its side, alarming—but not injuring—all inside its cabin.

County officials stated that, although this was a new route for this particular bus, the path had gone through rigorous repeated inspection before being mapped out and put into use. There is, however, some concern that the narrowness of the road upon which the accident occurred may have played a distinct role in the incident. The question of whether a vehicle of this size should be using a slender roadway of questionable integrity as part of its regular route is now being posed by witnesses, parents and county officials.

Representatives from Lincoln County have stated a desire to widen the road in question, but the project would require funding that the county simply does not have, and approval from officials at a higher level to make the proposed changes. The county does not have ownership of the land to the sides of the roadway, and lacks the financial means of purchasing the land in order to widen up the roads.

School district officials have stated that the bus route is to remain the same, and that psychological professionals will be on hand to help students who are struggling with the trauma of an accident of this type.

Egypt Bus Crash Leaves More Than a Dozen Soldiers Hurt

A bus carrying Egyptian soldiers overturned while traveling on an international roadway in the city limits of Abu-Redes on the southern portion of the Sinai Peninsula on the morning of Monday, July 19, 2015. Sixteen persons were injured as a result of the crash. Eight emergency transport vehicles arrived on scene following the accident, ready to provide preliminary treatment and transportation to medical facilities. All injured parties were transported to area medical centers, including Abu-Redes Hospital and Tor General Hospital, for evaluation and treatment following the incident. The cause of the crash is not yet known, and the accident remains under investigation at this time.

All injuries were reported to have been non-life-threatening, and the soldiers are reportedly expected to make a full recovery and be released from the hospital within a few days. It is not yet known whether driver fatigue or poor road conditions or other factors may have played a contributing role in the accident. Twenty-four people were on board the bus at the time of the accident, all soldiers returning to their base following a holiday trip, and the driver of the bus is being detained pending further investigation by Egyptian authorities.

Roads are notoriously dangerous in the Sinai region and all of Egypt due to poor maintenance and previously lax alcohol intoxication and seatbelt requirement laws. In recent years, the Egyptian government instituted laws restricting drunk driving and requiring seatbelt use, but the country remains at the top spot for traffic fatalities in the entire Middle Eastern region. Egypt has put a road development plan in place with a target completion date of later this month. In spite of these recent measures taken to reduce traffic-related deaths on Egyptian roadways, traffic accident reports have yet to significantly decline in the nation.

Ohio School Bus Crash Leaves One Dead

One person has died as a result of an accident on a foggy road in Ohio on Monday, July 13, 2015. The crash occurred just before 8 a.m. on U.S. Highway 6 in Wood County, Ohio, close to the Silverwood Road exit between State Route 199 and County Road 237. First responders and police on scene have stated that the foggy weather conditions may have caused low visibility and played a contributing role in the accident.

The crash occurred when several large vehicles, including a school bus and two tanker trucks, were making turns off the highway. As the vehicles were waiting to turn, the second tanker truck rear-ended the first one. The impact of the crash reportedly knocked the large vehicle sideways and into the oncoming lane, at which time it was hit by a van. The fatality was reported to be the driver of the minivan. The identity of the deceased has not been released. Drugs or alcohol are not considered to be factors in this crash at this time.

Four other persons were injured in the crash, though all injured parties are expected to survive. Three adults on board the school bus at the time of the incident were treated on scene, and the driver of one of the tanker trucks was taken to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment of reportedly minor injuries.

A portion of U.S. Highway 6 remains closed as efforts to clear the scene of debris and gasoline that spilled from one of the tankers during the accident continue. Ohio State Highway Patrol officials estimated that the scene may take several hours to be made safe for drivers again, and detours have been put in place. Traffic in the area is expected to remain slow and congested until the cleanup effort is completed later in the day.

Inland Empire Bus Crash Caused by Passenger Interference

A packed Greyhound bus traveling west along Interstate 10 on the afternoon of July 4, 2015, near the Waterman Avenue exit in San Bernardino, when a passenger allegedly wrested control of the steering wheel from the bus driver and jerked the wheel, causing the bus to veer off the highway and into the ditch below. The bus was traveling from Phoenix, Arizona en route to Los Angeles when the crash occurred. The man’s motive for interfering with the operation of the bus is not known.

Fellow passengers and other witnesses have stated that the bus was traveling an estimated 70 miles per hour when the unidentified man took control of the steering wheel, causing the bus driver to lose control of the vehicle. When the bus finally careened into the ditch, the person who caused the crash reportedly fled the scene of the accident through a broken bus window, running into a nearby strip mall parking lot before falling to the ground. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment of lacerations on his arm and an undisclosed lower back injury. Officials from the California Highway Patrol have stated that the man may well face criminal charges once he recovers from his wounds.

The person who wrenched the steering wheel away from the bus driver is described as a male in his 20s, wearing a hospital identification bracelet at the time he originally boarded the bus. Other passengers stated that the man had words with the driver prior to the beginning of the trip indicating that he was feeling poorly due to his recent hospitalization.

No one on board the bus at the time of the incident could say why the altercation between the man and the bus driver ensued, but witnesses did report that the driver and the wheel-grabber struggled and wrestled over the steering wheel for a short while before the crash. One passenger praised the bus driver for taking active steps to keep the bus from rolling over during the crash. Five injuries were reported following the accident, with the victims being transported to local medical centers for treatment and expected to survive. The remaining 15 passengers were taken to a nearby Greyhound station where another bus came to transport them for the remaining leg of their journey to Los Angeles.

Belgian Bus Accident Leaves Driver Dead

A school bus carrying young British children to a theme park field trip was involved in a serious accident while it was traveling en route from Belgium to Germany on the morning of Sunday, July 28, 2015, leaving several injured and killing the bus driver. The crash took place in northwestern Belgium on the E40 highway near Middelkerke, with more than 30 students on board at the time of the accident. Six teachers were also on board. The students and teachers were attendees and staff of Brentwood School, a private educational and boarding facility based out of Essex, England.

The ages of the students on the bus at the time of the incident range from 11 to 13 years. One child was reported as having a traumatic head injury and a brain bleed resulting from a skull fracture caused by the impact of the crash. The administrators of the school are in contact with the Foreign Office in an attempt to expedite the homecoming of the children and staff involved in the crash. The bus driver’s identity has been confirmed as James Chance of Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland-based Richmond Coaches released a statement confirming that it was one of their buses that had been involved in the tragic accident.

At least 15 injuries resulted from the accident, whose cause is still under investigation by Belgian authorities. In all, more than 40 people were traveling on the bus at the time of the accident. The bus left the roadway for undetermined reasons and ended up smashing into an overpass bridge pillar before finally coming to a halt. When first responders arrived, they found the bus lying on its side in a grassy area just to the side of the guardrail. Witnesses to the crash reported that the bus did not appear to attempt to brake before hitting the pillar, leading to speculation about the possibility of Chance having had an unexpected medical issue.

The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

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