Ximena Urrego and 56 Other People Were Injured In Tour Bus Accident In Weedsport As The Bus Was Heading To Niagara Falls from Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley
CAYUGA COUNTY, NEW YORK (August 20, 2021) – A woman identified as Ximena Urrego was seriously injured in a rollover tour bus crash on the New York State Thruway in Weedsport as the bus was heading toward Niagara Falls.
Cayuga County police officials are saying that the bus accident took place around 12:40 p.m. in central New York. The tour bus veered off the side of the road before rolling over and coming to rest on its side.
Juan Gil-Urrego told news reports that his mother Ximena Urrego was on the bus and sustained injuries in the crash. This was one of many trips that his mother had planned over the summer. Juan Gil-Urrego said that it was a miracle his mother survived such a serious crash.
Ximena Urrego was taken to the hospital with glass shards in her eye and needed back surgery. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the tour bus crash to tend to all of the other people who were injured.
In all 57 people inside the bus were injured and needed medical care including the driver of the bus. Auburn Community Hospital took a total of 27 patients. But Syracuse area hospital struggled to keep up with the influx of patients that they received after the crash.
Injuries from the crash ranged from minor to serious. Thankfully, though, there have been no reports of fatalities. New York state police are asking anyone that may have witnessed the crash to contact investigators.
Liability In New York Tour Bus Crashes
Buses are among the safest forms of transportation. There are several thousand traffic fatalities per year that involve buses, but the vast majority of the victims are either pedestrians or those in passenger vehicles. Still, buses are uniquely dangerous in one way that most vehicles are not. Buses have a high center of gravity and are more likely to be involved in rollover collisions. There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a rollover accident.
- Speed: Excessive speed remains one of the most common contributing factors for rollover collisions. It becomes more and more difficult to control a vehicle at high speeds and an overly sharp turn can cause a large car or bus to become unstable.
- Alcohol: Even moderate amounts of alcohol can substantially impair drivers and make it unsafe to operate a vehicle. Bus drivers are held to a particularly high standard. A bus driver is considered intoxicated if they have a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
- Drug Use: Even prescription medications can make it dangerous to drive. They mostly do this by making drivers fatigued and less alert. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor about how a new medication may affect your driving.
- Vehicle Defects: Most vehicles including buses have electronic stability control (ESC) systems. If this system is not working properly rollover collisions become more likely.
- Tire Defects: Tire blowouts are a major cause of rollover accidents. The tires on a bus should regularly be inspected for defects. Still, some tires may have manufacturing defects that are difficult to spot and make blowouts more likely.
Tour bus companies are considered “common carriers” under the law and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. A common carrier is a person or company that transports goods or passengers for a fee and whose services are open to the public. Common carriers will typically include airlines, taxi services and bus companies. As common carriers, bus drivers must exercise a great deal of caution to avoid accidents. This includes scanning the road ahead of them for potential hazards.
If a bus driver leaves the roadway and rolls over that bus driver could be liable for the collision. There is simply no reason for a driver to ever suddenly veer off the roadway. These types of accidents are almost always due to driver negligence. The company that a bus driver worked for could also be found at fault. Companies are typically vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees. In certain circumstances liability for an accident could extend even further.
The tour company that contracts with a bus company could potentially be liable for an accident. For example, the tour bus company has a legal obligation to hire drivers with a clean driving record. Though, this does not always happen. A tire company could be liable for a tour bus accident if a rollover collision was caused by a tire blowout. Small defects in the chemical bonding process in a tire tread could easily lead to a blowout which is followed by an accident. Victims of tour bus accidents tend to suffer very costly injuries including:
- Brain Injuries: Even a mild traumatic brain injury can leave victims with permanent neurological problems.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: An injury to the spinal cord might make it impossible for someone to walk again. Even if they can walk, they could be left with a life-time of pain.
- Broken Bones: Bone fractures can be both painful and extremely disruptive. They might force someone to miss work for months as their injury heals.
Federal law requires buses that can transport 16 people or more to have at least $5,000,000 worth of liability coverage. Any person that is injured in a tour bus accident may be able to access these insurance policies through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Many victims may not realize the full extent of their injuries until several months or years after an accident. It’s always a good idea to seek the guidance of an experienced bus accident attorney. An attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and fight on your behalf to get you the medical and financial support that you need in order to recover.
Investigating The New York Tour Bus Crash That Injured 57 People
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek extend our thoughts and prayers to Ximena Urrego and the 56 other people injured in the collision. It is our sincere hope that everyone will be able to make a full recovery. We strongly encourage anyone that may have witnessed the crash or who has information about what happened to reach out to police. This crash should never have taken place. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong so that steps can be taken to prevent similar tragedies.