4:05 a.m. on June 20, 1998, a 1997 Motor Coach Industries
47-passenger motorcoach, operated by Greyhound Lines, Inc., was on a
scheduled trip from New York City to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
traveling westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Burnt Cabins,
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. As the bus approached milepost (MP)
184.9, it traveled off the right side of the roadway into an
“emergency parking area,”1
where it struck the back of a parked tractor-semi trailer, which was
pushed forward and struck the left side of another parked
tractor-semi trailer. Of the 23 people on board the bus, the driver
and 6 passengers were killed; the other 16 passengers were injured.
The two occupants of the first tractor-semi trailer were injured, and
the occupant of the second tractor-semi trailer was uninjured.
National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable
cause of this accident was the bus driver’s reduced alertness
resulting from ingesting a sedating antihistamine and from his
fatigued condition resulting from Greyhound Lines, Inc., scheduling
irregular work-rest periods. Contributing to the severity of the
accident was the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s practice of
routinely permitting no emergency parking in pull-off areas within
the highway clear zone.
major safety issues identified in this accident are the bus
driver’s performance, the adequacy of carrier oversight, the
adequacy of the design and the appropriateness of the use of pull-off
areas, the lack of motor coach emergency interior lighting and
retroreflective signage, and the organization of the disaster
preparedness and emergency response management.
of accidents such as this, the Safety Board can make recommendations
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others
involved. Those injured may also pursue civil claims against the
driver, their company, and others. Civil claims can afford injured
persons and their families’ compensation for their injuries, pain
and suffering, and other losses.
claims involving buses can involve complex legal, technical, and
safety issues. The following are a few important legal, factual and
evidentiary matters that should be considered when evaluating a
where, and under what circumstances did the accident occur?
anyone charged in the accident?
alcohol, medication, or drugs involved?
the driver violate any rules of the road or other safety
the vehicle defective in any manner?
the bus have all necessary safety equipment?
there safety devices that the bus could have had?
there any road defects?
were the nature and extent of any injuries?
there any permanent injuries?
there any lost wages?
future medical care anticipated?
is important that an experienced legal team evaluate a bus accident
claim. Complex legal, factual, and evidentiary issues may be
involved. If you, a friend, or loved one are hurt in a bus accident,
you should take immediate steps to protect your or their interest. Do
not compromise your rights by making statements to the press,
insurance investigators, potential defendants, their representatives,
and do not sign anything. Consider the suggestions in our accident
guide, and call us immediately. We are here to help. At Larry King,
P.C., we recognize the unique issues pertaining to your claim. You can call us at (757) 595-8100
seven days a week, 24 hours a day, everyday of the year.
We also offer a free legal-infoline service, and you can now contact
us on this web site by using the following Personal Injury Contact form. We are
committed to doing the extra things it takes to help our clients.