It seems that 2011 was the year of fatal tour bus crashes, accidents that drew government scrutiny and crackdowns on the bus industry in states such as New York.
One of the issues has been the need for more stringent background checks on bus drivers. Some drivers involved in fatal accidens have been found to have criminal records, including Ophadell Williams, who was indicted for manslaughter in the deaths of 15 passsengers killed when his bus crashed in the Bronx.
Such was the case in the death of Angela Reid.
Under a settlement, a Staten Island, N.Y., bus company has agreed to pay $9,5 million to Reid’s estate, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday. Reid, a surgical nurse, died of injuries she sustained when she was struck by a bus driver with an extensive criminal record, Rufus Jones.
Needless to say, Jones was less than forthcoming when he applied for a job with Atlantic Express Transportation. When he filled out his job application, he “forgot” to mention that he had 31 criminal convictions and a suspended New Jersey driver’s license, according to the News.
Jones was driving an express bus in Manhattan when he went through a red light at 34th Street and Madison Avenue and struck Reid, who was on her way to her job at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, the News reported. Reid, the 34-year-old mother of two sons, was crushed and sustained devastating injuries, which resulted in surgeries and the amputation of her right leg.
Nonetheless, she died about three months after the Jan. 21, 2009 accident. In an interview with the News, Jones expressed remorse for Reid’s death but said his criminal record played no part in the accident.
But her employer, Atlantic Express, is paying the piper, to the tune of $9.5 million, via the settlement approved by in the Bronix Supreme Court. The money will be placed in a trust fund for Reid’s sons Dante, 9, and Devante, 11, according to the News. They now live in Florida with their father.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
email@example.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.