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New Jersey Tour Bus Involved in PA Turnpike Accident

By Lependorf & Silverstein on February 24, 2020

Five people were killed and 60 were injured on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in January 2020 when a tour bus went out of control and rolled over. This set off a chain-reaction, multi-vehicle pileup involving three tractor trailers and a passenger car, as reported by AP News. The 60 injured victims were all expected to survive, although two remained in critical condition in the afternoon of the day the accident occurred. Victims of this disastrous collision ranged in age from seven to 67 years old.

The crash took place at 3:40 a.m. on a mountainous, rural stretch of road, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. It shut down the highway in both directions for several hours. The highway reopened in the evening on the day of the crash. Two of the five people killed were UPS drivers in a tractor-trailer coming out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The tour bus that went out of control was traveling from Rockaway, New Jersey to Cincinnati, Ohio.

The bus was traveling downhill on a curve when it careened up an embankment and rolled over. Two tractor-trailers struck the bus, and a third crashed into the first two trucks. A passenger car was also involved in this pileup. The accident victims taken to the hospital were not only physically injured, but also mentally traumatized.

Based on the most recent information available, the company who owns the bus, Z and D Tours Inc, has no history of bus crashes or fatalities, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

What Are the Risks of Tour Bus Accidents?

Like other motor vehicles, buses are involved in accidents every year. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 229 fatal bus crashes, killing 274 people in the U.S., as reported by the FMCSA. In the same year, 15,000 buses were involved in injury crashes, hurting 25,000 people. FMCSA reports that, in a recent ten-year period, on average, intercity buses accounted for 13% of all fatal crashes.

What Causes Tour Bus Accidents?

Despite best efforts by federal and state regulations for tour bus companies and drivers, many different factors can result in a tour bus accident:

  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Driver fatigue
  • Poorly maintained buses
  • Mechanical failure (brakes, tires, suspension, steering, or lighting)
  • Unsafe road conditions (unmarked curves, potholes, inadequate lighting, construction zones not properly marked)
  • Poorly designed roads

Who Can Be Held Liable for Tour Bus Accidents and Injuries?

As there are different causes of tour bus accidents, there are also different potentially liable parties. Individuals and entities that may be responsible for your injuries may include:

  • Bus driver
  • Other drivers
  • Bus company
  • Bus maintenance provider
  • Bus or parts manufacturer
  • Government entity (if the crash was caused by poor road design)

If you have been hurt in a bus accident, our New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can thoroughly investigate your accident to determine fault and liability and secure and preserve evidence to support your claim. We use investigators, engineers, medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, and other experts, as needed, to help prove your case. Call us at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted in: Bus Accident

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty years.

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