As ubiquitous as public transportation is in cities such as Annapolis, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Washington, D.C., it’s difficult to say that every mode of public transport is safe, or otherwise free from danger of personal injury. From taxis, limousines and airport shuttles to city buses and commuter trains, the public travels many hundreds of thousands of miles daily all around the United States. Here in Baltimore, we have our fair share of traffic and rail accidents, some of which claim innocent lives.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers representing individuals injured in car, truck and motorcycle crashes, we live with the knowledge that not everyone who hails a cab, boards a subway train or steps foot onto a bus is going to be home for dinner come the end of the day. Accidents happen on a regular basis; be they traffic collisions, nursing home mishaps, on-the-job injuries or deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Many truck and automobile wrecks happen as a result of several unexpected events occurring at the same time; such collisions can not be anticipated even though the individual events may have been preventable. Drinking and driving is one such preventable activity that everyone “knows” should be avoided, however human nature what it is, there are no end of alcohol-related traffic incidents every day in this country.
What should be avoided at all costs is drunken driving by professional drivers; those people operating commercial vehicles, whether it be a delivery vehicle, city bus, or school vehicle. These days, distracted driving is nearly as bad as drunken driving and no commercial bus driver should ever be inattentive to traffic conditions due to the great responsibility of transporting many innocent people at any one time.
A short time ago, a bus driver was charged by police with reckless driving after apparently ignoring or overlooking traffic conditions that led to a fatal traffic accident along a stretch of Interstate 85. According to news reports, a 56-year-old female driver of a chartered bus has been held responsible for a highway crash that killed three other people. Based on police reports, the accident occurred on a Friday a bit before noon when a tractor-trailer carrying a load of logs and a smaller pickup truck were slowing down in the northbound lanes near a work zone.
The bus, which was carrying nearly 50 students to a convention in Baltimore, apparently failed to stop; hitting the pickup truck first and pushing it into the back of the log truck. Unfortunately, the driver of the pickup and two of three other occupants were pronounced dead at the scene of the fatal traffic accident. A fourth passenger in the pickup reportedly survived the collision, but had to be rescued from the severely crushed vehicle. The lone survivor was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Four individuals aboard the bus, as well as the driver of the log truck, were treated for possibly minor injuries. None were reported to have been significantly hurt in the chain-reaction accident. The woman’s arraignment hearing was scheduled for January 26 in front of a local district court judge. At the time of news reports, the local county prosecutor’s office was still awaiting information from police accident investigators to determine if additional charges would be levied against the driver.
Bus driver charged in fatal I-85 crash, Progress-Index.com, November 13, 2011