A charter bus full of high school students on a trip in New York was involved in a serious accident that left two passengers seriously injured and more with minor injuries. Police officials said on Monday, April 9, that the bus driver was using a non-commercial GPS device that did not provide him with proper warning of a low-hanging overpass, which contributed to the crash.
According to Major David Candelaria of the New York State Police, the driver failed to slow down before colliding with the overpass on the Southern State Parkway the evening of April 8. Buses, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are no allowed on that stretch of road.
In addition to GPS devices that provide proper warnings to these types of hazard, drivers often have the assistance of high-tech warning systems installed by the state Department of Transportation. These systems detect any large buses or trucks heading toward the low overpasses, which were built in the 1930s and 40s for passenger cars only. The devices had just been installed near the accident site, but they were still being tested.
Driver negligence still a possibility
The GPS device clearly led the driver astray, but he was also responsible for noticing hazards on the roadway and following any signs indicating that large vehicles are prohibited on certain roads. Police officials did not immediately comment on whether the bus driver would be charged with a crime.
After the crash, two 17-year-old girls had to be hospitalized with serious injuries. The clearance at the lowest point of the overpass is just 7’7,” and the height of the bus was approximately 12 feet.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used the accident as a reminder to truck and bus drivers across the United States to always use professional-grade GPS devices that provide important route restrictions like low bridge overpasses.
For the guidance and advice you need after an accident involving a large commercial vehicle, speak with an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.