New Jersey Bus Crash Injures 23
Investigators are still working to determine what caused a chartered bus to swerve out of control and flip on its side in a New Jersey crash that injured 23 people, eight of them critically.
The bus was exiting Interstate 80 near Wayne, NJ, on October 6, 2012 when the driver, 51-year-old Neville Larmond, lost control. The bus was chartered by a Toronto, Canada, church group that was heading to New York City. There is some question whether the bus was legally registered to operate in the United States.
In an accident such as this one, when a bus goes out of control and flips, it is very common that a large percentage of the passengers will suffer injuries. One reason is that the passengers on large commercial buses generally are not wearing seat belts, so when the bus goes out of control passengers are violently tossed around the inside of the bus.
One of the passengers on the bus, Toronto resident Leonie Samuel, told her sister Cheryl that she saw the accident coming, and said, “the only thing that she could have done was hold on to the seat in front of her and just hug it for her dear life.”
After years of prodding from the National Transportation Safety Board, Congress finally took some action to improve passenger safety on buses in July of 2012. Congress passed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)” bill which calls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop regulations including safety restraints, safer windows, and stronger roofs on buses. It remains to be seen how quickly the new rules will be put in place and how tough and effective they will be.