A bus that was approximately 4 feet too tall to properly pass under an overpass on Southern State Parkway suffered a major roof collision on April 8. The crash involved two serious injuries, five moderate injuries, and many more minor injuries. The bus was transporting New York high school students returning from a spring trip to Europe; there were 38 teens as well as five adult chaperones on the bus.
The approach to the overpass on the eastbound side of the Southern State Parkway includes a sign warning that a 10-foot clearance is approaching. One sign posted on the overpass says that its lowest point is 7 feet, 7 inches high. In either case, it is far lower than the approximate 12-foot height of the bus. This overpass is estimated to be the lowest clearing on the highway, according to state police. Others noted that previous collisions had occurred at the same location due to the low overhead crossing.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has notified trucking companies and drivers about a GPS system that provides automated warnings of low clearances. All new bus drivers must be trained on the system; however, the use of the GPS warning system is optional, not mandatory. The top of the bus, returning from John F. Kennedy Airport, was crushed down to the headrests on the seats.
People who have been injured in a bus accident may suffer lifelong consequences and serious injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help to protect the rights of accident victims and pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered, including medical bills and lost wages.