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Distracted driver at fault for fatal New York bus accident

A distracted bus driver has been found at fault for an accident in North Hudson on July 18. Police determined that alcohol, drugs, cellphone use, mechanical issues and road and weather conditions were not factors in the fatal accident.

According to New York State Police, the fatal auto accident took place on I-87 in North Hudson, when a 2008 commercial bus was carrying 55 passengers from south from Quebec, Canada, to New York City. The vehicle reportedly veered into the left lane then off the road into the shoulder. After that, the bus hit some wires and continued down an embankment for about 300 feet before coming to rest on the driver's side.

A 14-year-old passenger was killed instantly in the crash. The driver and the other passengers suffered varying degrees of injuries and were treated or evaluated at local hospitals. Four of the passengers suffered serious injuries and were admitted for treatment. Police believe the driver, a 61-year-old man from Quebec, was distracted or drowsy prior to the accident, causing him to go off the road. The man received a ticket for unsafe lane change and for an improper DOT marking.

In fatal accidents such as this one, the family of a victim might choose to file a wrongful death claim even if the liable driver was not charged in relation to the victim's death, since evidence can still show negligent behavior on the part of the driver. Evidence to show negligence might come from police investigation results that show that a driver was not respecting the rules of traffic, and this can include being distracted while operating a vehicle. A successful claim in New York might result in economic and non-economic awards for the family of the deceased, as well as added interest on the award amount beginning on the date of the judgment.

Source: MyChamplainValley, "NYSP: Fatal Canadian Bus Crash on I-87 Caused by Drowsy, Distracted Driver," Joe Gullo, Jan. 16, 2015

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