Elderly Woman Killed In Tenafly Bus Crash Along Highwood Avenue North of Hillside Avenue Near Cresskill
BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (August 31, 2021) – A 72-year-old woman has tragically died in a Tenafly bus accident near the intersection of Highwood Avenue and Hillside Avenue.
New Jersey police officials are saying that the collision took place around 3:54 p.m. on Sunday as the bus was heading to Cresskill. The woman was trying to cross the road when the New Jersey Transit Bus ran her over while making a right turn.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. She was taken to the Hackensack University Medical Center with traumatic injuries.
Despite life-saving measures from doctors and nurses she died as a result of her injuries. Tenafly police officials interviewed the 70-year-old driver of the New Jersey Transit Bus who remained at the scene.
The bus was heading to Cresskill from the New York Port Authority bus terminal.
Liability In Tenafly, New Jersey Transit Bus Accidents
Buses remain one of the safest forms of transportation for their passengers. But they can be uniquely dangerous for passenger vehicles and pedestrians. A fully loaded transit bus can weigh as much as 40,000 lbs. Buses also have large blind spots that are big enough to make an SUV disappear. These blind spots are all around the vehicle and particularly pronounced on the sides of buses. According to one report by the Harvard Kennedy School, there are an average of 63,000 bus crashes per year that result in 14,000 injuries and 325 fatalities. Factors that could influence the likelihood of a crash may include:
- A lack of maintenance on the bus
- Driver fatigue
- Failing to check blind spots
- Dangerous left turns
- Dangerous right turns
Bus drivers are held to a high standard in terms of safety. Most bus companies are considered “common carriers” under the law. According to a new ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the New Jersey Transit Corporation are held to the same standard as other common carriers. The Anasia Maison v. New Jersey Transit Corporation ruling established that NJ Transit bus drivers must exercise the utmost caution to protect their passengers. Many pedestrian accidents are highly preventable and due to driver error.
Bus drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing the roadway. According to New Jersey Statute 39:4-36. (a), “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals […].” Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian may result in liability on the part of any driver.
Depending on the facts of any case, liability for a bus accident may extend beyond the at fault driver. Bus companies or the cities that own buses could be liable for an accident if their drivers were at fault. Generally speaking, companies and municipal entities are liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any New Jersey bus accident.
- Photos of the accident site should be taken
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed
- Surveillance footage of the accident should be sought
- Medical records should be preserved
The family of any victim that died in a bus accident may be able to seek justice under N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-1. Damages in a wrongful death claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. New Jersey is one of several states that follows a comparative negligence law. Even if a victim was partially at fault for an accident this will not bar them or their family from pursuing a civil claim. A wrongful death 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 Bergen County, New Jersey Transit Bus Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of the woman that died in this accident. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to police officials. There needs to be some accountability for what took place.
There are also a number of questions that should be answered. Why didn’t this bus driver yield to the victim? Were they possibly distracted? Could this tragedy have been prevented? It is our sincere hope that city officials will closely examine this intersection to determine if any steps can be taken to help make it safer. No family should ever have to suffer through something so tragic.