Articles Posted in Subway and Bus Accidents

Published on:

On the morning of Wednesday, January 4, 2017, a Long Island Railroad (LIRR) train derailed at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal during the rush hour commute injuring over a hundred (100) people, officials said.  An estimated 600 people were on the train when the crash occurred.  The train left from Far Rockaway at 7:18am and was supposed to arrive at the Atlantic Terminal at 8:11am.  The crash happened at 8:20am.

According to officials, the LIRR train derailed on Track 6 when it slammed into a bumper block at the transit hub as it pulled into the station.  The LIRR train was running about nine minutes late from its scheduled arrival time at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal.  There will likely be an investigation into the causes surrounding the crash and derailment by the Federal Railroad Administration.  Data recorders aboard the train can show the speed it was traveling and when the engineer hit the brakes (if at all) just before the crash.  While investigators have not answered many questions about the crash, the preliminary information, as being reported by the news, is that the train was going too fast as it entered the station and struck a bumper at the end of the track.

The station quickly filled with dust and smoke after the crash.  One of the passengers aboard the train described the accident as follows:  “The train suddenly slammed…We were standing and waiting to get off.  One of the doors shattered and we all fell on top of each other.”

Published on:

At approximately 9:50 a.m., an MTA bus struck and killed a 73 year old woman near East Houston and Columbia Street.  The victim was declared dead at the scene.

The bus was turning off of Avenue D onto East Houston when the woman was caught under the rear wheels of the bus. Witnesses stated that the bus driver did not initially realize that he had hit someone. Residents near the scene of the accident reported that corner where the accident took place is notoriously dangerous.

PHOTO-1
Leav & Steinberg has successfully represented a 57 year old woman that was struck by a bus and suffered traumatic leg amputations.  A $5,000,000.00 settlement was obtained for the injuries our client sustained in the accident.

Published on:

On July 18, 2016 at 7:35 A.M., two NJ Transit Buses crashed causing injuries to no less than 15 people. The accident occurred in the Manhattan-bound tube of the Lincoln Tunnel. Both buses were filled with commuters bound for the New York Port Authority.

Commuters were incensed with NJ Transit and took to social media to voice their outrage as the avoidable accident injured many people and caused long residual delays.

Attorneys from Leav & Steinberg specialize in litigating claims following accidents that were caused by the negligence of others. In the past we successfully resolved a case that involved a multiple bus accident that occurred in the Lincoln Tunnel. The plaintiff in that action was a bus passenger who suffered a laceration to his chin and injuries to his jaw.

Published on:

On the evening of Tuesday, February 3, 2015, a Metro North train collided with an SUV that was stopped on the tracks near Valhalla station. As a result of this tragic accident, the driver of the SUV and five passengers on the train were killed. There were also numerous injuries to other passengers.

While investigators haven’t answered many questions about the crash. Their initial findings are shedding some light on what could have played a role in causing this accident.

Initially it appears that the driver of the SUV was in traffic that was inching toward the crossing, and when the warning lights came on and the crossing gates came down, the driver’s car was within the gates. One of the gates hit the driver’s vehicle, who subsequently got out of her vehicle to check for damage. Seemingly unhurried, the driver got back in the car and proceeded further onto the tracks.

Published on:

On the morning of Sunday, December 1, 2013, a Metro North train derailed while it was traversing a severely curved portion of the track in the Bronx near the Spuyten Duyvil station. All of the train cars veered off of the track. The locomotive and cars in the front deviated the most, nearly toppling into the water and ending up close to the edge of the shore. There were approximately one hundred to one hundred and fifty passengers on the train at the time. There were four fatalities and sixty-three injuries. Three of the four people who passed away were thrown thrown from the train after the windows blew out.

The cause of the derailment is under an ongoing investigation. The scene of the accident was promptly reviewed and secured by authorities who braced the cars which came to rest at an angle. Busted out windows laid on the ground nearby. The interior of the cars were ripped apart and passengers’ belongings were strewn about.

Engineer William Rockefeller has over a decade of experience with the Metro-North and survived with minor injuries. When he gave preliminary statements, he told first responders that he hit the brakes. There were three conductors on the train. Another official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claims a last resort emergency brake technique was used.

Published on:

Subways and taxis are common ways to get around New York City. But an ever more common and older method of transportation is walking. There are sidewalks throughout Manhattan and the boroughs. And on these sidewalks are many pedestrians walking to various destinations.

The City of New York Parks & Recreation department has a program called Walk NYC. It “is a free program that encourages New Yorkers of all ages to get fit while enjoying the outdoors. With funding provided by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Parks will staff locations throughout the city with trained walking instructors to lead one-hour walks.” Walk NYC has locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. There are many parks around New York within which to take a stroll. Central Park, Battery Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach are all great parks to take walks through.

Sidewalk Walking

Published on:

Connecticut Train Crash Highlights Rail Dangers, But Also Improvements in Rail Safety

Back in the 1980’s there was a radio commercial encouraging people to “take the train to the plane.” If you think about it even a little bit, the tune will come to you. New York City is well known for its subway trains and trains leading to other parts of the country. The Metro-North Railroad line runs between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. This rail line transports around 30,000 people every day. While trains are relatively safe, derailments and collisions are possible and happen from time to time.

On May 17, 2013, two passenger trains collided on the Metro-North line near Fairfield, Connecticut. The eastbound train jumped the track and collided with a westbound train on an adjacent track. More than 70 people were injured and rushed to area hospitals. The two trains were transporting about 700 passengers between them. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) has investigators on site to try to determine the cause of the derailment and collision. As the investigation has progressed, train cars have been removed from the site. But Metro-North has informed commuters that about 2,000 feet of track and overhead wires will need to be replaced prior to the line reopening.

Published on:

Although we don’t like to think about it, school bus accidents may be more common than one might imagine. According to the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, over 22 million children ride school buses every day in America, and a surprising number of transportation accidents occur. Just last month, a school bus crashed into a Subaru in Bushwick, according to a report from CBS New York. It left 14 people injured, including 11 children. This story has been a hot topic in New York news because the school bus driver involved in the accident was actually part of a non-union company brought in to run the buses while the union drivers were on strike.

The Recent Crash in Bushwick

In the accident that resulted in the hospitalization of 11 schoolchildren, critics argued that the use of non-union drivers led to the crash. The Local 1181 Amalgamated Transit Union shop steward gave a statement for a press release and argued, “Union drivers are safe. Non-union drivers are not safe.”

Published on:

The New Jersey Ferry, run by Seastreak Ferry, is a major means of transportation for tourists and natives alike. It is free of charge, spacious, and runs frequently between Atlantic Highlands and Highlands in New Jersey and lower Manhattan. The multi-level boats can carry hundreds of passengers and crew on a single trip. Rows of seating are available throughout the boat. Some passengers choose to stand at the perimeter of the boat during the trip to enjoy the view or make a quit exit from the boat. Once the boat is fully docked and the gates on the deck open, the exits get backed up since the boats are usually rather full with passengers. The ferry ride is generally smooth and peaceful, perhaps due to the larger size of the vessels and the relatively flat current on the Hudson.

On January 9, 2013, the ferry made a hard landing straight into the Manhattan dock. The reason for this still appears to be under investigation. Though the operation of a ferry is somewhat complicated in that it involves the study of the mechanics of the vessel and an understanding of the current, landings in this area are not typically expected to be dangerous. The ferry operator on January 9, 2013, Captain James Reimer, was questioned at length after the accident. He and the five member crew were given alcohol and drugs tests, the complete results of which have yet to be released. Captain Reimer said the controls and engines failed, which prevented him from reversing the boat at the appropriate time to slow it and effectuate a smooth landing. The ferry engines have a data storage feature, which will allow an in depth investigation of what happened at the controls just before the crash.

There have been numerous ferry accidents. In 2009, the same ferry was involved in a hard landing which resulted in a large gash being made in the boat. In 2010, a boat was involved in a crash which punctured a hole in the port side of the same boat. The unrelated Staten Island Ferry also has been in several accidents, the most notable being the 2003 crash in which the operator lost consciousness at the controls after taking pain relievers which had drowsiness listed as a known side effect. As a result of this accident, eleven people were killed.

Published on:

On January 9, 2013, at least eighty-five people were injured when a high-speed ferry heading to New York City crashed into a dock in Manhattan. The impact tore a large gash in the bow of the 130 foot long ferry. At the time of the accident, the ferry was carrying 326 people, including five crew members. It was reported that at least two of the injured individuals sustained serious head wounds. The accident involved a ferry operated by Seastreak, which carries more than four hundred people each trip between New Jersey and a pier in New York City near Wall Street.

This crash is certainly tragic, and begs the question of whether it could have been prevented. In 2009, the same ferry was involved in another incident where it hit a dock. In that 2009 accident, the ferry sustained a two to three foot rip in its hull. Reports from witnesses and passengers indicated that the ferry did not slow down as it approached the dock. In addition, there were also major safety concerns because passengers were already standing and lined up to exit the ferry, despite not having safely docked yet. In fact, one of the seriously injuries was caused by a man being thrown down the stairs and striking his head on a window. Investigators were not immediately clear on what caused the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board deployed a team to the scene to conduct a full investigation.

Ferries, like trains and buses, are referred to as “common carriers.” A common carrier is a company that provides transportation to the general public without discrimination, usually under some sort of license or authority from a regulatory body. Unlike drivers of cars, common carriers owe a greater obligation to provide a higher level of safety to its passengers. Ferry owners or operators could be held liable if an accident occurs because the ferry was not properly maintained, was not compliant with safety regulations or if the ferry captain did not properly operate the ferry.