Much has been written recently, both on our blog and in the broader media, about accidents involving discount bus carriers. Only a couple of weeks ago we mentioned a crash on Interstate 55 involving a Megabus that resulted in the death of a college student. That carrier is again in the news after one of its coaches hit and killed an elderly woman as she was crossing the street in downtown Chicago.
According to police reports of the bus accident, a Megabus was turning onto West Adams near Union Station. While the bus was making the turn, one of its large side mirrors clipped the woman, who was in the middle of the crosswalk. She lost her balance and fell to the pavement, striking her head.
Regrettably, this is not the first time one of the company’s buses has struck a pedestrian in Chicago. Two years ago, a similar accident occurred only a couple of blocks away. In that incident a 64-year-old man was using the crosswalk to reach the other side of the street when a Megabus hit him as it was making a turn. He became trapped under the bus, and medical efforts to save his life were unsuccessful.
The victim’s wife sued Megabus, alleging that the driver operated the bus negligently. Last week, the company agreed to settle the suit for $5.1 million. When bus companies violate their duty of care, injured victims may be entitled to compensation. When the victims perish in the accident, their families may have a right to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Megabus to pay $5 million for 2010 fatal accident,” Michael Lansu, Aug. 8, 2012.