Patrick Varriale, of New Springville, Died In Staten Island Hit-And-Run Bus Accident By The Intersection of Forest Hill Road and Platinum Avenue
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (May 29, 2022) – A 69-year-old man identified as Patrick Varriale died in a Staten Island hit-and-run MTA bus accident by Forest Hill Road and Platinum Avenue.
New York City police officials are saying that the accident took place around 4:40 a.m. on Friday. Patrick Varriale was crossing the intersection about a block away from the MTA Yukon bus depot when he was hit by a bus making a left turn.
The bus driver continued down Platinum Avenue after the crash but was later apprehended by police. They have since been taken off duty pending the results of a probe.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. Patrick Varriale sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A full investigation into the accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Staten Island Bus Accidents
Far too many people have been seriously injured or killed every year in MTA bus accidents. According to the New York Post, there were at least 21,823 crashes involving MTA buses over 31 months beginning in 2015. That is an average of 23 accidents per day. These accidents led to 2,520 injuries including 14 fatalities. In one case from 2016, a bus driver dragged a woman 6 blocks and only stopped after being waved down by a frantic pedestrian. All of the collisions have led to calls from activists for the MTA to become more transparent. There are a number of steps that bus companies can take in order to prevent accidents.
- Bus drivers should be well trained before they begin their routes.
- Bus drivers should receive periodic medical tests to ensure they are fit to drive.
- Bus drivers should be well rested before the start of their shifts.
Buses are considered “common carriers” and their drivers are held to a high standard in terms of safety. This also applies to the hiring standards that bus companies use to hire drivers. Driving a bus is substantially more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle. Buses also pose a number of unique hazards to pedestrians and smaller vehicles. To help mitigate these dangers, bus drivers must be well trained and receive a commercial driver’s license. If a bus driver lacked the adequate credentials to drive their bus, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
All bus drivers must exercise due care in order to avoid hitting pedestrians. Pursuant to New York Vehicle Code 1146, all drivers must take measures to avoid hitting pedestrians, bicyclists and domestic animals in the roadway. Drivers are supposed to check their blind spots before turning and yield to any pedestrian in a lawfully marked crosswalk. If a bus driver fails to yield to a pedestrian and hits them, they could be held at fault through a civil claim. The company or municipality that they work for could also be held at fault.
A driver that flees the scene of a collision that causes bodily injury or death may also face criminal liability. All drivers have a legal obligation to remain at the scene of any injury collision and contact authorities. But many drivers get scared after they are involved in a collision. They get scared they will be arrested. They get scared they will lose their job. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any hit-and-run collision.
- Photos of the accident site should be taken.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Footage from inside any bus involved should be sought.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.
The family of any victim that died in a Staten Island hit-and-run MTA bus accident may have legal recourse through N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 (2021). Damages in a civil claim can help cover many of the expenses that can come with the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one. Sadly, though, bus companies will often fight hard to deny liability for any collision. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Staten Island MTA Bus Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Varriale. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There are so many questions that need to be answered. It is our sincere hope that the MTA will take measures to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Staten Island MTA bus accident? Our team of pedestrian safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.