When a motor vehicle accident involves a large commercial vehicle, the consequences are often deadly. Because large vehicles like buses and trucks can cause a terrible amount of damage when an accident happens, these motor vehicles are held to high safety standards that establish minimum safety requirements for drivers and the equipment aboard the vehicles.
Despite the safety requirements, we have seen a number of serious accidents involving tour buses in New York and across the nation. A total of 32 people have been killed and another 323 people have been injured in tour bus accidents this year. The most serious of these accidents happened in March, when a tour bus overturned and slammed into a poll in the Bronx, killing 15 passengers.
On Friday, another serious accident happened when a tour bus collided with a truck in New York, killing one person and injuring at least 30 people.
About 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, a tour bus was carrying 52 passengers from Canada on Interstate 90 in New York. Apparently, the tour bus had been on the shoulder of the road and was making its way back into the right lane when it was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck was killed and both vehicles burst into flames.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. New York State Police are presently focusing on determining how soon the bus was hit after it had pulled back onto the highway. Investigators believe the bus was still not quite up to full speed and may have been partially on the shoulder of the road when it was hit.
If not for the quick thinking of an Army Sergeant on leave from Fort Drum, the accident could have been much worse. Sgt. Jacob Perkins was 90 minutes into his leave when he saw the accident. He pulled his vehicle over and ran into the bus several times to rescue passengers.
Source: CBS News, "Probe Of Fatal Crash Of New York City-Bound Tour Bus Looks At Speed, Timing," 23 July 2011