Two People On Buffalo School Bus Were Injured In Fire Truck Accident By The Intersection of Goethe Street and Lovejoy Street
ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK (November 16, 2021) – Two people were injured in a Buffalo school bus accident after being hit by a fire truck equipped with a ladder near the intersection of Goethe Street and Lovejoy Street.
Buffalo police officials are saying that the accident took place around 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 16th. A fire broke out on the 100 block of Goethe Street and firefighters were called to the scene.
A fire truck equipped with a ladder t-boned a school bus as it was traveling to the location of the fire. A photo of the accident shows the side of the yellow school bus with major damage.
A school bus driver and an aid on the bus were extricated and had to be treated for injuries. An investigation into the Buffalo school bus accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability An Erie County School Bus Accidents
School buses are among the safest forms of transportation. Over the last decade, nearly 70% of fatalities involving school buses came from either pedestrians or people in passenger vehicles. However, the large size of school buses makes them much more vulnerable to accidents at intersections. Some of the factors that could contribute to a bus accident at an intersection may include:
- Speed: Driving too fast for the prevailing conditions remains the leading causes of serious collisions in the United States.
- Driver Distraction: There are many different distractions that could potentially contribute to an accident. For example, a large portion of car accidents are due to drivers distracted by their phones.
- Inclement Weather: Rain or snow can cause the roadways to become slick and will require drivers to travel much slower than the posted speed limits.
- Driver Fatigue: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that staying awake for only 18 hours can reduce driving ability equivalent to driving with a BAC of 0.05%.
Determining liability for an accident involving an authorized emergency vehicle such as a fire truck can be very difficult. The drivers of authorized emergency vehicles are allowed to do many things that would otherwise be illegal for drivers of passenger vehicles. This could include speeding, running red lights and driving down the wrong side of the road. However, authorized emergency drivers must be responding to an emergency and use their lights and sirens during that response. If a fire truck failed to use its lights and sirens, the city or company that owned that fire truck could be liable for an accident involving another vehicle.
Even if a fire truck driver is responding to an emergency with their lights and sirens, they must still utilize reasonable care to avoid causing accidents. According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1104(e), authorized emergency drivers that show a “reckless disregard” for the safety of others could be liable in the event of an accident. The New York Court of Appeals has held that drivers show a “reckless disregard” for the safety of others when they consciously disregard a grave risk likely to result in harm to others. Victims involved in fire truck accidents tend to suffer very serious and costly injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Any person that is injured in a fire truck accident may be able to seek some measure of justice through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. It’s important to act quickly after any accident, especially when emergency vehicles are owned by a municipality. Victims who are hit by city vehicles must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in someone forfeiting their ability to pursue a claim. A New York personal injury attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Buffalo Fire Truck Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to the two people injured in this school bus accident. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that steps will be considered to help prevent additional collisions like this.
This accident raises a number of safety concerns. Did this fire truck have its lights and sirens on at the time of the collision? Was the fire truck driver exercising due care prior to the crash? Is there a history of collisions at this intersection? Driving a fire truck is extremely difficult and their drivers must take precautions to prevent these type of collisions. Most collisions can be prevented when drivers scan the road ahead of them.