On Saturday, February 2, 2013, a bus headed from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania crashed into an under pass on Soldier’s Field Road in Boston. While the police investigation is ongoing, it appears that the bus was simply too tall to fit under the Soldier’s Field Road, Boston underpass, and the front end and top of the bus were destroyed. It has been reported that there are many injury victims on the bus, some hurt seriously. Recent reports indicate that one victim remains in critical condition. Such injuries are not surprising, given the pictures and videos shown by the Boston media which has covered the story.
According to such coverage, the first challenge for responding emergency personnel was simply accessing the injured people inside the bus. The front doors had been destroyed, meaning that the Boston Fire Department and others were unable to enter the bus through traditional means. Additionally, the top of the bus had been crushed, apparently by the Boston road overpass, meaning entry through the top of the bus was very difficult as well. Responders were required to use the Jaws of Life, a device that allows them to cut through the metal of the bus, to access the passengers.
It is interesting to note that the cause of the crash is still under investigation by the state police. That is typical in such a serious accident. For injury victims, there are a number of benefits to consulting an attorney at an early stage following such an event. At Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C., if retained in such a case, we may employ our own accident reconstructionist to investigate the cause of the Boston bus accident. A privately-retained reconstructionist will view the facts of the crash in a much different light than the state police (who are often simply looking to determine whether to press criminal charges).
In Massachusetts, contract and common carriers owe duties of due care to their passengers. Included among these obligations would be the obligation to obey any access and height restrictions, the obligation to keep a proper lookout and the responsibility to avoid hitting other objects.
At Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C., we have represented numerous victims of mass transit accidents. These have included people who were hurt on buses, MBTA vehicles and other types of public transit (e.g., subway, buses, and commuter rail).
If you or somebody you know has been injured in a bus or other mass transit accident, call Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C. to discuss your options. The initial consultation is free and many such claims can be pursued on a contingent fee basis.