Brain-Injured Survivor Of Bronx Bus Crash That Killed 15 Files Suit

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Posted on 27th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A survivor of a horrific Bronx bus accident that killed 15 people is suing the driver and the company that operated the vehicle, according to the New York Post.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/woman_injured_for_bronx_casino_bus_Pf9b5Y1xeCVsQoaikqWaUJ

Yuke Chue Lo, a 74-year-old Manhattanite, filed suit in Superior Court against bus driver Ophadell Williams and World Wide Tours. Lo is charging the defendants with negligence and seeks punititve damages for the March 12 accident.

She sustained head injuries in the crash when the bus, on its way to Chinatown from a casino in Connecticut, hit a sign stanchion, which literally sliced the bus in half. Lo received brain injury and was scarred and had bond fractures from the accident.

The lawsuit alleges that Williams, who has a record that includes a manslaughter conviction, was falling asleep before the bus struck the stanchion. Williams allegedly used an alias in order to get his bus driver’s license. 

 

Federal Safety Regulators Join In Probe of Fatal New Jersey Turnpike Bus Crash

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Posted on 20th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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It’s official: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a bus crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed two people last Monday night.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported that the NTSB was joining the probe into the fatal Garden State accident, as well as investigating a bus crash that killed 15 people and took place a week ago this past Saturday in the Bronx. 

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/national_transportation_safety.html

Both accidents involved low-cost buses that were transporting passengers from Manhattan’s Chinatown. In the New Jersey accident in East Brunswick, bus driver Wei Wang, 50, and passenger Troy Nguyen, 20, were killed.

Legwork by The Star-Ledger revealed that the bus company involved in the Turnpike accident, Super Luxury Tours of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., “has one of the worse driver safety ratings in the nation.”

The bus involved in the accident has been traveling from Chinatown to Phildelphia.         

Second Chinatown Tour Bus Crashes, Killing Two On New Jersey Turnpike

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Posted on 14th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Monday night there was a second tour bus crash in the New York metro area, with this one killing two people and injuring 40 others. The accident will likely add to the cry by lawmakers for a federal probe of the low-cost bus companies that serve Manhattan’s Chinatown.

A Super Luxury Tours bus crashed near exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike, near East Brunswick, N.J.  The bus driver died after he went through the windshield, and a passenger later died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, according to CNN.com. 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/14/new.jersey.bus.accident/#

That bus was en route from Manhattan’s Chinatown to Philadelphia.

Monday’s fatal bus accident comes in the wake of a horrific tour bus crash in the Bronx last weekend. That tragedy has now taken 15 lives, with another passenger succombing to his injuries Monday. 

Authorities are questioning the bus driver’s claim that he lost control when the bus was clipped by a tractor trailer, since several passengers reported that he had been swerving off the road shortly before the accident.

That accident is under investgation by the National Transportation Safety Board, and authorities suspect that bus driver Ophadell Williams actually fell asleep at the wheel, then lost control of the World Wide Tours bus. The bus, traveling from a casino in Connecticut back to Chinatown in Manhattan on Interstate 95, rolled on its side and crashed into a sign stanchion. 

The stanchion cut the bus in half, creating carnage, including the decapitation of one passenger.

According to a report Monday in The New York Times, witnesses told authorities that right before the accident the bus had repeatedly veered onto the highway’s shoulder, as if the driver was nodding off.     

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/nyregion/14bus.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=bus%20crash%20&st=cse

It was also disclosed Monday in various press reports, including one in The Wall Street Journal, that Williams has a criminal record. He was convicted of a 1990 manslaughter charge and was imprisoned for several years before being paroled in 1994, according to The Journal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703908304576201041862413506.html

While on parole, he was arrested for grand larceny, was convicted, and then was sent back to prison until 2002, The Journal reported. 

Even New York City Mayor Michael Bloombeg chimed in on the accident, telling reporters that there didn’t appear to be any evidence that a truck had hit the bus. 

The accident in the Bronx has Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and other legislators calling for a major probe by the NTSB of federal regulation of low-cost bus companies.

Monday’s accident will give Schumer more fodder.    

 

 

 

Appeals Court Ditches $1.8 Million Jury Award To Man Hit By Bus

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Posted on 13th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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An appellate court apparently believes you must look before you leap — into a street.

That’s why the appeals court in New York City has thrown out a $1.8 million jury award to a man who was struck by a bus in Harlem. The March 8 ruling means that there will have to be a new trial for Claude Williams.  

http://online.wsj.com/article/APe6bff9af0a344f91bf6643f0cae694e1.html#printMode

Williams sustained a concussion and other injuries in a September 2003 accident. Williams claimed that he was struck by a bus that ran a red light and was too close to the curb, according to the Associated Press,

In overturning the jury verdict, the appeals court noted that there hadn’t been any witnesses to corroborate Williams’ contention that the bus ran a red light. 

But the appellate court pointed out that there was evidence that Williams had walked into the path of the bus without looking, and that he was not in a crosswalk, according to AP.      

New York Bus Crash Kills 14 As The Vehicle Is Sheared In Half

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Posted on 12th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Fourteen people were killed early Saturday when their tour bus flipped and was then was ripped in half  by a sign stanchion in the Bronx, not far from the Manhattan border.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/nyregion/13crash.html?src=mv

In addition to the dead, the horrific accident left 19 injured, with five critical. In the carnage one person was decapitiated, there were body parts lying inside the bus, and a witness at the bloody crash scene saw a screaming passenger who had lost both his arms.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/12/new-york-city-casino-tour-bus-crash/?ncid=webmail

The World Wide Tours bus was traveling on Interstate 95 in the Bronx, on its way from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, at about  5:30 a.m. It was en route to Chinatown in Manhattan.

The bus driver, 40-year-old Ophadell Williams, told police he lost control when a tracter trailer swerved in his path, clipped the bus and then drove away. Police are investigating that assertion, according to The New York Times.

Police have taken custody of a trailer in Long Island and a tracter in Westchester County, bringing them to Farmington, L.I., to figure out if they were involved in the crash.    

The bus, which was traveling at a high speed, turned over on its side and skidded along a guardrail. It then hit a pole that was holding a large sign that marked the Hutchinson River Parkway exit. 

“The pole burst through the front window and sheared the bus in half laterally, from front to back, along the passenger window line,” according to The Times.

World Wide Tours issued expressed condolences and sympathy for those killed or injured in the accident. The Times reported that the bus company had recently been cited by federal regulators for fatigued drivers, but that its overall safety record was satisfactory.