06/13/2012 // New York City, New York, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)
The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in response to a March 2011 tour bus crash that left 15 dead, explains New York City injury attorney Jonathan C Reiter. According to the reports the fatal crash resulted from an exhausted driver, who suffered from too little sleep and received too little oversight from the bus company.
The driver of the bus, Ophadell Williams, reportedly went nearly three days without sleep, except for naps, before the March 12 accident. The bus was en route to Chinatown, traveling 78 miles per hour in a 50mph zone when it ran off the road, hit a guardrail, fell over and crashed into a highway sign support pole. The pole jackknifed into the bus, peeling off the roof killing 15 and injuring 17, according to reports reviewed by Mr. Reiter.
While the report did not state the driver had fallen asleep, it made note that he made no attempts to correct the change in direction or steer away from oncoming dangers.
Williams has since pleaded not guilty in the State of New York to charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, adds New York bus accident attorney Reiter.
The bus operator, World Wide Tours of Greater New York, was shut down by Federal regulators after the accident. Aside from numerous safety violations, the company reportedly did not obtain driver logs for Williams, a federal safety regulation. The driver had also reportedly been fired twice and received 18 suspensions throughout the 20 years he worked as a driver.
The NTSB recently recommended requiring bus companies to obtain the previous 10 years of driving records for bus drivers who are being considered for hire, rather than the current requirement of three.
The board further concluded that the tragic accident could have been prevented, or its severity lessened, if the bus hadn’t been speeding. It also recommended federal regulators require advanced speed-limiting devices on newly manufactured heavy trucks and busses.
This investigation was spurred after a series of fatal bus accidents occurred in the spring of 2011.
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