The Lincoln and Holland Tunnels allow about 200,000 vehicles to enter New York City each day. The recent specter of a bus crash inside the Lincoln tunnel raises the fear that another, more serious crash could occur that would cause a massive tragedy. In the recent accident, the driver of a Route 166 bus ran into the rear of another bus carrying a group of eighth-grade children on a graduation trip, resulting in passenger injury to multiple bus occupants. It happened near the Manhattan side of the tunnel.
Passengers on the Route 166 bus said that the front windshield was shattered and the front door was stuck. They described people being banged up and bleeding. Most of the 31 people reported injured were on that bus. One pregnant woman went into labor and had to be rushed to a hospital.
The children were from the Toronto School District, and they continued on their way after several hours of waiting. The other bus was a New Jersey commuter bus. There is only one way in and one way out of the tunnel, which makes the potential for panic great in the event of a major accident.
In terms of passenger injury, this accident was relatively mild, but a more serious crash inside the tunnel could be disastrous. Even with this smaller scale crash, chaos quickly began to set in as travelers were unable to enter New York for hours while injured individuals were rescued and carried out on stretchers. Those who suffered injuries would be entitled to make a claim for damages against the bus driver that rear-ended the other bus. Clearly, the operator of the offending bus was a negligent driver, and that negligence is by law attributed to his employer through agency principles.
Source: The New York Times, “Lincoln Tunnel Bus Collision Injures at Least 31, Snarling Traffic“, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, June 10, 2015
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