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Tour buses collide in Manhattan

Manhattan’s Times Square was the scene this week of a collision between two sightseeing tour buses that injured over a dozen people, sending them to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators are still piecing together the chain of events that caused a red Gray Line and a blue CitySights NY bus, both doubledeckers with open tops, to collide at 7th Avenue and West 47th Street beside a booth for discount theater tickets. Both of the buses are owned and operated by the same New York City-based company, Twin America.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs is the regulatory agency for the 15 sightseeing tour bus companies operating in the city. It includes oversight for 58 CitySights buses and 80 Gray Line buses.

Both buses in the collision were checked in April for any safety deficiencies during their semiannual routine inspection by the New York Department of Transportation. According to a state official, both passed.

Witness accounts indicate that the Gray Line bus came up quickly behind the stopped CitySights bus, sideswiping it before jumping a curb and striking a traffic light pole and then a stone bench. The pole then toppled over onto an Australian girl’s stroller, crushing it.

The young girl and her family were visiting the Big Apple from Brisbane. Her father stated that his daughter was taken, along with others who were injured, to a local hospital as a precautionary measure, but that “[s]he’ll be fine. A little shaken as you would expect.”

An update on the story indicates that the 58-year-old Gray Line bus driver, who passed a Breathalyzer test, has been arrested for driving while ability impaired.

Whether it’s a collision with a bus or truck, or a car accident involving two or more vehicles, chances are fairly high that injuries will result, necessitating expensive medical treatment. One way to recoup losses in an accident is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurer. Litigation may be necessary if they fail to remit adequate compensation.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal, “Tour Bus Double Trouble” Andrew Tangel, Pervaiz Shallwani and Joseph De Avila, Aug. 05, 2014

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