Driver Fatigue Was to Blame for New York Bus Crash That Killed 15
An investigation into a devastating bus crash that killed 15 in New York in 2011, has highlighted driver fatigue as the cause, as well as a bus company that provided little safety oversight.
The results of the study by the National Transportation Safety Board come just days after a massive crackdown on East Coast low cost tour bus operators that saw 26 bus companies closed down including some that have picked up passengers from Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
See this AP video of the bus crash.
As experienced Virginia bus accident injury lawyers, we have repeatedly highlighted the danger of fatigue including the part it played in a bus crash on the I-95 in Caroline County, Virginia in 2011 when a bus driver fell asleep at the wheel and the bus left the interstate, killing four.
The five-member National Transportation Safety board found, in a unanimous vote, the driver of the New York bus, Ophadell Williams, had “ almost no sleep in the three days leading up to the March 12, 2011, accident except for naps he took on the bus while passengers were inside a Connecticut casino gambling,” Associated Press reported.
Speed also appeared to be a factor. The bus was moving at 78 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone of Interstate 95 while returning to New York’s Chinatown when it veered off the road, hitting a highway guard rail, before crashing into a support pole for a highway sign.
The pole ripped the bus open. Besides those killed, 17 other passengers were injured, some of them severely.
Williams has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
The safety board noted driver fatigue was a factor in seven of the last 19 bus accidents the board has investigated.
regulators closed down the bus operator, World Wide Tours of Greater New York, soon after the accident after finding safety violations.
As Norfolk, VA based catastrophic accident injury attorneys it’s hard to comprehend the full horror of an accident like this. As more evidence emerges, it becomes clear that many of these low cost bus operators kept down prices by keeping drivers awake for days on end, to the detriment of passenger safety.
The Norfolk and Virginia Beach personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have over 40 years of combined experience in handling auto injury accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA, and always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.