Tour Bus Operator Shut Down After Fatal Oregon Accident

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Posted on 14th January 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Authorities in the United States and Canada have barred a tour bus company from operating following an accident on an icy road in Oregon that left nine people dead and almost 40 others hurt, according to The Wall Street Journal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324442304578236132870734890.html

Officials are blaming the Dec. 30 crash, where a bus went through a guardrail and fell down an embankment, on driver fatigue, a factor that’s been cited in several bus crashes in the past year, The Journal reported.

Last week both the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation issued orders that effectively shut down Mi Joo Tour and Travel of Canada. According to The Journal, American officials charged that Mi Joo posed a safety hazard because it allowed its drivers to work more than the 70-hours-a-week maximum set by federal law.

When the Mi Joo bus crashed on Interstate 84 in Pendleton, Ore., its driver had been driving for 92 hours that week, U.S. officials claimed.

A lawyer for Mi Joo told The Journal that black ice was the blame for the multi-fatality accident in Oregon.

 

N.Y. Bergdorf Goodman Worker Killed By Bus

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Posted on 28th December 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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An employee of tony Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan was struck and killed by a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus after leaving work Wednesday night, according to the New York Post.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/tragic_final_shift_Ry1bH4HR7FyzBosp0526wM

Aileen Martinez, 33, of the Bronx had agreed to close up the Tom Ford makeup counter for a co-worker, and left the upscale store about 8 p.m. She was walking across Seventh Avenue at West 59th Street in pouring rain when she was hit by a Staten Island Express bus, the Post reported.

The bus driver, who didn’t have any passengers, had made a left onto Seventh Avenue when he struck Martinez, according to the Post. He stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged with anything relating to the accident.

The MTA was probing whether Martinez was jaywalking when she was hit and whether the bad weather contributed to the fatal accident, the Post reported.

 

Bus Flips Over In Bogota, 27 Passengers Dead

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Posted on 17th December 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A bus went off a road in Colombia and overturned Monday, with 27 passengers killed and 15 injured, according to numerous press reports.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/bus-crash-in-colombia-kills-27-306611

The bus was on its way from Bogota to Cali, a 310-mile trip, according to NDTV.com. It was part of a group of four buses transporting people back from a business convention in Bogota.

The one bus swerved off the road and flipped over, causing the horrific number of deaths.

Passengers on the other buses claimed that the driver of the bus in the accident had voiced complaints about its brakes, but another bus was never sent, NDTV.com reported.

Bus Driver Acquitted Of Manslaughter In Crash That Killed 15

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Posted on 7th December 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A bus driver who was behind the wheel during a ghastly accident in the Bronx that killed 15 passengers, and ripped the arms off another man, was acquitted of manslaughter and negligent homicide charges Friday, The New York Times reported.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/nyregion/ophadell-williams-driver-in-fatal-bus-crash-found-not-guilty-of-manslaughter.html

The case had been seen as possibly setting a precedent for prosecuting motorists who drive when they are too tired, amounting to criminal behavior. Such was not the case.

The defendant, 41-year-old Ophadell Williams, had been accused by the prosecution of being so tired when he was driving as if he were drunk, and that this conduct rose to the criminal level of manslaughter and homicide. Obviously the jury didn’t agree, as it only convicted Williams of one misdemeanor charge for unpaid tickets, The Times reported.

Williams was driving a bus that was returning to Chinatown in Manhattan from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut when he struck a guardrail on Interstate 95 in the Bronx. The top of the bus was sheared off, killing the 15 and injuring many others, including a passenger who lost his arms when he tried to protect his face.

The jury deliberated five days after sitting through a trial that began in September, according to The Times.

Williams, who didn’t testify, isn’t off the hook. He is being sued by several passengers who lived through the crash, and the survivors of some who didn’t.

The lawyer for the passenger who lost both his arms told The Times, “Running a bus off a highway might not be a crime, but it’s certainly negligence.”

Megabus Reaches $5.1 Million Settlement In Fatal Chicago Accident

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Posted on 8th August 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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There is a bit of sad irony here.

Just one day after a 76-year-old woman was struck and killed by a Megabus in Chicago, the bus operator signed off on a $5.1 million settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a similar fatal accident, according to The Chicago Tribune.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-megabus-strikes-pedestrian-20120809,0,2998724.story

Donna Halstead, a retired Illinois Supreme Court secretary, was killed Tuesday as she was crossing Adams and Canal streets near Union Station, The Tribune reported. Halstead was knocked down to the ground by the Megabus’s mirror in a mishap not far from her apartment.

Just a few blocks away, in a crosswalk at Adams and Desplaines streets, Wesley Krueger was killed when a Megabus hit him, according to The Tribune. That accident took place Feb. 23, 2010.

On Wednesday Krueger’s family and Megabus reached a $5.1 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by the survivors, The Tribune reported. Megabus did not admit any wrongdoing.

The Chicago newspaper noted that there were a number of similarities between Halstead and Krueger’s deaths.

“Both incidents occurred late on a Tuesday afternoon along Adams Street, near where Megabus picks up passengers on the side of the road,” The Tribune said. “In both cases the buses were making left turns and the drivers were ticketed.”

There have been several Megabus accidents recently. Last week a Megabus traveling from Chicago to Kansas City crashed near St, Louis. A University of Missouri graduate student died in that accident, which was blamed on a tire blowing out.

And on Wednesday a Megabus traveling from Atlanta to Chicago went on fire, another incident that authorities are blaming on a blown tire.

 

 

 

Denver Man Slips, Gets Run Over And Dies Getting Off Bus

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Posted on 11th February 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Denver man was killed last week when he got off a bus, slipped on the snow and was run over by the vehicle, according to the local CBS TV station.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/02/08/man-dies-getting-off-rtd-bus-stops-are-still-snow-packed/

On Tuesday Mario Castro, 60, got off a Regional Transportation District bus at snowy West Colfax Avenue and Mariposa Street, according to the TV station’s online report. 

Police were investigating the accident, but apparently Castro held onto the side of the bus so he wouldn’t fall, but he slipped anyway and fell underneath it. The bus’s rear wheels rolled over him, killing him.

Denver got several feet of snow last week, and officials and residents have not been able to keep up and shovel out the city’s estimated 10,000 bus stops, the TV station reported. 

Many RTD passengers complained that they were having difficulting disembarking from buses, because of slippery, snow-covered bus stops.    

Bus Company To Pay $9.5 Million To Family Of Nurse Who Died After Being Hit By A Bus

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Posted on 4th January 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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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.  

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/estate-angela-reid-9-5-million-fatal-struck-a-bus-article-1.1000612

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.       

San Francisco City Bus Strikes And Kills Pedestrian

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Posted on 23rd April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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First Denver had a rash of accidents where pedestrians were struck and killed by municipal buses. Now San Francisco had a fatal accident were a man died after being hit by a city bus.

 On Wednesday morning Scott Whitsett, 49, was walking on the pavement, wet from rain, of Mission Street in the Financial District when he hit by a Muni bus driven by Kimberly Johnson. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Muni-operator-involved-in-fatal-accident-had-been-with-agency-for-just-over-two-years-91863314.html

 After being hit by that first bus, Whitsett was then pinned against another Muni bus, that one driven by Cedric Geegan.

 Whitsett had to be extricated, and was brought to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died.

 As part of standard Muni procedure, both Johnson and Geegan were given drug and alcohol tests and were placed on non-driving status.

 The accident, which is under investigation, was the first Muni-related fatality so far this year.

 

Denver Transit Officials Try To Figure Out Reason For Recent Spate Of Fatal Accidents

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Posted on 16th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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 Public transit officials in Denver are trying to figure out why there have been a slew of fatal bus crashes this year, according to the Denver Post. http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_14861061

 In just a four-day period in April, four people were killed in accidents involving Regional Transportation District buses. That is more fatalities from bus accidents than any full year from 2005 through 2009, The Post says.

 According to research by the newspaper, in 2005 and 2007 there were no deaths stemming from accidents involving RTD buses.

 RTD has been trying to stem the tide of accidents by having its supervisors deliver safety briefings before drivers go out of the garage in the morning.

In the three lethal accidents in Denver, only one RTD bus driver has been cited for any violations or wrongdoing. Tidenekiyalesh Hawariyat, 30, ran a red light April 3 and crashed into two cars. Two people in a Volkswagen Rabbit were killed, and about 12 others were hurt, including Hawariyat and the driver of one of the vehicles she hit.

 Police pressed charges against Hawariyat, namely two counts of careless driving resulting in death and 11 counts of careless driving resulting in injury.

 In the other fatal accident, a 78-year-old man was hit by a bus in Aurora as it pulled out of a bus stop. And the night after that, a bicycle rider crashed into an RTD bus. That 42-year-old man died of his injuries the next day. 

Because of the rash of fatal accidents, RTD is giving more than 1,000 bus and light-rail drivers a one-hour refresher course on safety procedures, according to the Post.

 

 

 

 

Denver Transit Officials Try To Figure Out Reason For Recent Spate Of Fatal Accidents

 

Public transit officials in Denver are trying to figure out why there have been a slew of fatal bus crashes this year, according to the Denver Post. http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_14861061

 

In just a four-day period in April, four people were killed in accidents involving Regional Transportation District buses. That is more fatalities from bus accidents than any full year from 2005 through 2009, The Post says.

 

According to research by the newspaper, in 2005 and 2007 there were no deaths stemming from accidents involving RTD buses.

 

RTD has been trying to stem the tide of accidents by having its supervisors deliver safety briefings before drivers go out of the garage in the morning.

 

On the three lethal accidents in Denver, only one RTD bus driver has been cited for any violations or wrongdoing. Tidenekiyalesh Hawariyat, 30, ran a red light April 3 and crashed into two cars. Two people in a Volkswagen Rabbit were killed, and about 12 others were hurt, including Hawariyat and the driver of one of the vehicles she hit.

 

Police pressed charges against Hawariyat, namely two counts of careless driving resulting in death and 11 counts of careless driving resulting in injury.

 

In the other fatal accident, a 78-year-old man was hit by a bus in Aurora as it pulled out of a bus stop. And the night after that, a bicycle rider crashed into an RTD bus. That 42-year-old man died of his injuries the next day. 

Because of the rash of fatal accidents, RTD is giving more than 1,000 bus and light-rail drivers a one-hour refresher course on safety procedures, according to the Post.