In this week’s accident round-up, a landmark civil court case where the plaintiff claims that the MTA systematically covers up bus accidents and manipulates evidence. And a fatal 4-car crash in Queens involving a drunk driver results in criminal charges.
Does The MTA Cover Up Bus Accidents?
A lawyer representing an injured MTA bus rider has alleged that the MTA employs a team of accident investigators who conduct cover-ups of bus accidents. According to testimony, Queens alone has at least five of these employees, and they exist throughout every borough. They speak with witnesses, take photographs and measurements, and write official accident reports.
Last week in a civil court, Queens MTA worker Victor Santiago testified that he had been assigned to hundreds of these accidents, averaging “one or two a day or more”. This court case involved a 2007 bus crash on Parsons Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway. 43-year old passenger Manuel Reyes allegedly suffered disabling injuries in the accident.
Testimony from Reyes and MTA bus driver Dameion Soman differed greatly. While Reyes claimed Soman had sped up and ran a red light, Soman testified that the light was green. Reyes’ lawyer argued that the MTA had missing or unreliable evidence, including examples like:
- There were no photos that showed where the bus had stopped after the accident. Reyes claimed it veered into the two southbound lanes, but an MTA diagram has it positioned in northbound lanes. Additionally, the photos provided show the bus in different locations. Reyes’ lawyer went on to claim that “They moved the bus.”
- The MTA investigators took all or most of the 14 bus passengers, but only Reyes’ statement was produced in court.
- MTA employee Victor Santiago testified that a colleague had downloaded data from a “black box”-like device, which records information on the speed and braking of the bus. However, this information was not provided in court.
10 of these accident investigators were at the scene of this accident, however the evidence produced was incomplete and often unreliable. The jury ruled in favor of Reyes, finding both the MTA and bus driver Dameion Soman 100 percent negligent in the crash.
Queens 4-Car DUI Accident Kills 2, Injures 7
Two Queens families are grieving for loved ones after a fatal 4-car accident in Queens involving a drunk driver. Akeam Grant, age 16, and Layon Campbell, 34, died in the early morning of July 16th in the accident on the Grand Central Parkway. The two were passengers in a vehicle being driven by Andrew Shakespeare, who was intoxicated and has been criminally charged in the accident. Shakespeare has been arraigned on charges of manslaughter, homicide, reckless endangerment, and driving while intoxicated. Seven others suffered injuries in the accident.
Grant and Campbell were both beloved in their neighborhood. Grant was an aspiring DJ who had recently immigrated to the city from Guyana. Campbell was originally from Jamaica, and known in the neighborhood for his jerk chicken – which he sold from a sidewalk stand.
This accident is another daily reminder of the devastating consequences of drunk driving. Two lives were lost, and countless family members, neighbors, and friends have been left to grieve.
The Financial Costs Of An Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in an public transportation or auto accident in Queens, you may have a variety of financial worries. These accidents require extensive and costly medical treatment, may require you to miss work, along with other financial consequences. When negligence is a factor in an accident, it’s important that the victims receive the financial assistance they need for these expenses.
To find out more about your options and begin seeking the financial help your family needs and deserves, contact Lipsig Queens today for a free consultation.