A recent crash in West Haven, VT between a tour bus and a jackknifed tractor trailer claimed the life of a New Jersey man.  According to news reports, the tour bus, driven by Darnell Hannah of Millstone, NJ, was en route to the Sugarbush and Stowe resorts when Hannah was suddenly confronted with a 53’ tractor trailer blocking the entire roadway.  Various reports of the accident indicate that Hannah’s considerable efforts saved the lives of many, but he was unable to completely avoid a collision.  He became trapped in the wreckage and later died from his injuries.

The roads in the area were reportedly icy and weather is listed as a contributing factor in the accident, but this likely does not tell the whole story.  A jackknife condition generally arises from some form of operator error, or a defect in the condition of the big rig – often due to poor or improper maintenance.  Examples would include excessive speed, poor skill in handling the rig, improper tire pressures, improper brake adjustment or defective brakes.  Without a complete and careful assessment of all potential contributing factors, it is not possible to know exactly why the tractor trailer which took Mr. Hannah’s life jackknifed.  And it is for this very reason, that victims of trucking accidents need prompt, skilled legal assistance.

Ever hear a story and say to yourself “that can’t be true”?  I had that experience recently while reading the news.

Reports out of Jersey City, NJ reveal that five passengers aboard a NJ Transit bus were injured when the bus was struck by a dump truck.  Amazingly, when the bus driver honked at the dump truck to signal for it to stop, the driver of the truck sped through a red light and fled the scene.  Fortunately, the recklessness of the trucker did not result in further accidents or injury.  However, I could not locate a report indicating that the dump truck was ever located.

It’s outrageous that anyone would act in such a callous and reckless manner.  But a commercial driver piloting a behemoth like a dump truck?!  Amazing.  If anyone has information on this trucker, I hope they come forward.  Help us all, but getting this guy off the road! The injured passengers were reportedly transported to nearby hospital for treatment.

Bus accident victims often suffer significant injuries which may be caused in part due to a lack of seat belts.  I recently represented a woman who was seriously injured when the bus she was occupying was struck in the rear by another bus.  The woman sustained a serious brain injury when she was thrown from her seat within the bus.  Evidence in that case showed that the striking bus was negligent for its failure to keep a safe distance from the bus in front of it.

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Recently, in Pennsylvania as well as other states throughout the country, there have been numerous school bus accidents which have resulted in serious injuries and death. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a motorcyclist was killed after a collision with a school bus on March 22, 2012. And in Burlington County, New Jersey, an 11-year old girl was killed in a school bus accident on February 17, 2012.

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