NTSB determines fault in fatal NJ bus-truck accident

Federal authorities concluded their investigation into a collision between a dump truck and a school bus last year that probably saddened both the residents of Bergen County and the entire state of New Jersey. The National Transportation Safety Board, at a public presentation attended by the parents of one of the victims, explained the factors contributed to the New Jersey accident that killed one 11-year-old triplet girl and injured her two sisters and 12 others.

The NTSB concluded that both the operator of the school bus and the truck driver contributed to the accident. The NSTB concluded that fatigue and the use of anti-anxiety drugs and pain relievers caused the bus driver to drive into the path of the oncoming dump truck, although NTSB was careful to clarify that the bus driver was not intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The driver of the dump truck, on the other hand, was operating a vehicle with faulty brakes and was hauling too much weight on his truck. Additionally, the children on the school bus were not wearing their seatbelts, which resulted in several children being thrown out of their seats during the collision.

The board also provided recommendations for avoiding this kind of accident in the future. For example, the board stressed that New Jersey's school bus seat belt mandate should be enforced and everyone should be educated about the importance of using a seatbelt on a school bus. They also focused on the bus driver's fatigue and his failure to reveal his medical condition to those who gave him his license to drive a bus. As for the truck, recommendations were made about how to ensure strict compliance with weight load limits.

A truck accident can cause a lot of heartache, especially if it involves the loss of a loved one. While the family of this child is grieving, they still probably had to cover funeral costs and medical bills. Those responsible for the accident should in justice compensate for these costs. Victims of these types of accidents can get compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In a case like this one, the family of the victim may wish to consult a legal professional to get sound legal advice and to understand how to proceed with the case.

Source: Philly.com, "NTSB assigns blame for deadly school bus crash," Jan Hefler, July 25, 2013

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