Elizabeth Hyman of Rego Park, Queens Died In Upper East Side, Manhattan School Bus Accident While Crossing Intersection Near 72nd Street and Third Avenue
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK (October 6, 2021) – An elderly woman identified as Elizabeth Hyman has tragically died in an Upper East Side school bus crash by 72 Street and Third Avenue.
New York City police officials are saying that the accident took place around 3:43 p.m. on Monday, October 4th. Elizabeth Hyman was crossing 72nd street when she was struck by a school bus driver making a right turn from Third Avenue.
The victim was in the crosswalk when the accident took place. So far, police have not charged the school bus driver with any traffic infractions.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help Elizabeth Hyman. She was taken to the Weill Cornell Medical Center in order to receive treatment.
Despite life-saving measures from doctors and nurses, Elizabeth Hyman died following the accident. A full investigation into the Manhattan school bus accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Manhattan School Bus Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, around 69% of the of fatal school bus crashes involved occupants of passenger vehicles. Around 17% involved pedestrians and only 6% were occupants of the school bus. School buses remain one of the safest forms of transportation for children. But they pose a number of unique hazards for pedestrians.
- Blind Spots: School buses have large blind spots that can obscure the presence of pedestrians in the roadway.
- Turning Radius: Like commercial trucks, school buses have a wide turning radius that can lead to collisions with vehicles or pedestrians.
- Stopping Distance: A school bus can weigh as much as 25,000 lbs and can take substantially longer to stop than passenger vehicles.
School bus drivers must get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. According to the FMCSA, “CDL holders are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads. Serious traffic violations committed by a CDL holder can affect their ability to maintain their CDL certification.” Operating a school bus requires a different set of skills and knowledge than driving a passenger vehicle.
School bus drivers must exercise all due care in order to avoid hitting pedestrians in crosswalks. According to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1146(a), drivers must use caution to avoid colliding with bicyclists, pedestrians or domestic animals. If a driver strikes a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk after driving through a yield sign without stopping, this may be considered prima facie evidence of their failure to yield the right-of-way. In general, pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks and at intersections with either marked or unmarked crosswalks.
Consider, for example, the case of People v. A.J. A detective sustained a serious knee injury after being struck by a NYPD civilian mechanic test driving an unmarked RMP. Plaintiffs attorneys sustained a settlement for their client after arguing that the civilian employee violated New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1146, 1212, 1108(a) and 375(1). Depending on the specific facts of any case, liability for a collision may extend beyond any driver involved in an accident.
The company or city that owned a school bus could be held liable for the negligence of their driver. For example, the company or municipal entity that owned a school bus could be vicariously liable for any accident. As a general rule of thumb, companies and municipal entities in New York are liable for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as the tortious act was generally foreseeable and a natural incident of the worker’s employment. Keep in mind, however, if a municipal entity was involved in a New York collision there is a 90-day statute of limitations to file a notice of claim. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any school bus accident.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage of the accident should be sought. Most intersections are covered by traffic cameras. Businesses also have surveillance footage of many accidents across New York City.
- A bus driver’s work records should be examined.
- Medical records relating to the accident should be preserved.
The family of any victim that died in a school bus accident may be able to seek justice through (N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 (2021). Damages in a civil claim can cover some of the unexpected expenses that often coincide with the sudden loss of a loved one. However, bus companies will often fight extremely hard to deny liability for any accident involving their drivers. A New York City bus accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and get to the bottom of what may have contributed to a collision.
Investigating A Manhattan School Bus Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Elizabeth Hyman. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that the investigation into this accident will lead to positive safety changes to prevent additional tragedies like this.
This Upper East Side school bus accident raises a number of safety concerns. Did the school bus driver involved in this crash receive proper training? Why have they received no citations thus far? New York law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Could this tragedy have been prevented? The vast majority of bus accidents can be prevented when drivers slow down and obey all vehicle & traffic laws. If pedestrians are to be safe in New York City, drivers must first learn to use caution and share the road with them.