By Allan M. Siegel
In the day’s following last Tuesday’s
fatal collision between a school bus and an MTA commuter, local and federal authorities
have been working diligently to determine an underlying cause. In a wreck
that killed 6 victims and injured 11 others, this investigation is crucial
in determining whether the incident was preventable, and how regulators
can better address any issues involved so as to prevent similar factors
from causing other tragic crashes.
Investigations into last week’s crash have resulted in several important
discoveries, including the school bus driver’s lack of a valid commercial
driver’s license. Below are some important facts now known about
- The school bus driver involved in the crash, and who died in the collision,
did not possess a valid commercial driver’s license as of September
1, 2016, because he had failed to provide state regulators with required
information about his medical condition. A warning letter had been sent
to the driver about his medical certificate in July and again in September.
- AA Affordable Transportation operated the school bus and employed the driver.
The company contracted with Baltimore City Public Schools to transport
local students who required special assistance and have not commented
on the incident.
- Federal investigators have ruled out mechanical error as a cause of the
collision and are further investigating whether the driver’s medical
condition played a role, as there was no indication brakes were applied
before the crash. Officials have noted that the school bus driver had
taken seizure medication in the past.
- There is evidence from a crash report in 2014 that the school bus driver
was involved in a Ellicott City crash that may have been caused by his
- Authorities have reported that an 11th victim, a 28-year-old woman, was
also injured in the crash.
New information about the crash is raising concern over the company which
operated the school bus. Under Federal law, employers are required to
maintain medical examiner’s certificates, including expiration dates,
for their CDL drivers. Allowing an individual without a valid commercial
license to operate a bus could constitute a violation that makes them
liable for victims’ damages.
In crashes involving similar issues, which our firm has experience in handling,
victims and families are often able to pursue legal action against bus
drivers and their employers for negligence. These cases are hinged on
demonstrating that negligence more likely than not contributed to a crash
– such as allowing a driver without a valid CDL to operate a commercial
motor vehicle, and negligently retaining a driver with a history of concerning issues.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is staying close to the
ongoing investigation, as it may prove instrumental in helping victims
and families affected by this tragedy in their fight for justice. We have
extensive experience handling auto accident and
bus accident cases involving violations of federal regulations and negligence, and
we are available to help anyone who would like more information about
their legal rights.
To speak with a personal injury lawyer from our team,
contact us for a free and confidential consultation.