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A minor, two-car fender-bender suddenly took a turn for the worse when a Detroit city bus crashed into the scene while the drivers were examining the damage and exchanging insurance information. Until the bus appeared, the October 6 accident had caused only minor damage and no injury.
Unfortunately for those at the scene, at least one of the vehicles was heavily damaged by the bus and one of the drivers was sent to the hospital in critical condition.
The incident started when a thirty-four-year-old woman rear-ended another vehicle at Morang Drive and Marne Street in the dark, early-morning hours that Friday. Not long afterward, around 4:05 a.m., according to reports, the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus came on the accident scene, where it hit at least one of the cars and pushed it into the woman.
The bus driver claims that he did not see either of the cars or the woman who was hit because of the lighting conditions. He has been relieved of driving duties by DDOT, pending an investigation. It’s unknown whether the bus was speeding or the driver was in any way impaired.
This type of secondary crash—when another crash happens on the heels of the first—is, unfortunately, a fairly common occurrence. By some estimates, as many as one crash in five is a secondary crash, and happens because a driver has to stop or maneuver suddenly when he or she comes upon a crash site or the backup caused by it.
For every minute a crash is uncleared, the risk of another crash grows. Many of those who respond to crashes are aware of this, which is why they try to clear and reopen the roadway as quickly as possible. Doing so can prevent further crashes and the injuries and deaths they might bring.
It hasn’t been the best year for the DDOT. This is the fifth crash involving a bus that we’ve read about in 2017, although the earlier ones were all caused by other drivers running stop signs or red lights. The most dramatic might have been in May, when a driver ran a stop sign and smashed into a bus on the west side, knocking the bus driver out of his seat and sending the bus into a building.
Five people were injured, two critically. Video of that incident was made public and shows the violence of the impact.
Like other vehicles, buses get into accidents. People on the bus, those in other vehicles, and bicyclists and pedestrians can be hurt. When you’ve been involved in a crash with a bus, it’s important to work with an experienced bus accident attorney who has worked on many cases for many clients and knows what to expect.