The pattern of pedestrians being run down and killed by vehicles in New York City continued with the latest incident occurring recently in Morningside Heights on Amsterdam Avenue near W. 112th Street. A United Coach Line charter bus crushed a 68-year-old female under its front wheels as it pulled out of its parked spot and hooked onto the woman, dragging her under the vehicle. She had been standing near the front passenger side waiting to cross the street prior to the occurrence of the fatal accident.
The victim’s sister was an eyewitness to the event. She started screaming and became so grief-stricken that she had to be removed by stretcher and was taken to a nearby hospital. The driver reportedly did not see the woman prior to the incident.
The driver’s failure to see her may be an initial indication of his carelessness in pulling out before taking all reasonable precautions to assure the safety of passengers and pedestrians. The sidewalk area was highly crowded with Columbia University students and families attending commencement ceremonies. The same United Coach Line company was cited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2011 for having a high level of alcohol use by its drivers, according to news reports.
Other irregularities were reported in 2011, such as fatigued driving and failure to maintain proper records. It is currently unknown if alcohol or drugs or other impairment had a part in this tragedy. New York police have not yet decided whether to lodge any charges against the driver in this fatal accident, but the prospect of negligence is reasonable based on currently available facts. The decedent’s family has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver and the employing bus company.
Source: New York Daily News, “Woman, 68, killed when struck by double-decker tour bus in Morningside Heights in front of sister’s horrified eyes”, Chris Sommerfeldt and Thomas Tracy, May 20, 2015
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