Woman Killed in Chicago Bus Accident When Driver Fails to Stop
In a tragic turn of events, a crash involving a Chicago MTA bus and four cars resulted in the death of a pedestrian and injuries to nine others, including the bus driver. In the process of turning off Lake Street at its intersection with Michigan Avenue, the bus driver initially stopped at a red light but then proceeded through the light, and in the process hit two pedestrians and four cars before finally jumping the curb and coming to a stop on the sidewalk. One pedestrian, Aimee Coath, 51, did not appear to see or hear that the bus was coming. She became trapped under the bus after it had collided with the cars, and suffered fatal injuries. Ms. Coath was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Six other vehicle occupants and another pedestrian, including one child, were also taken to the hospital with non-critical injuries. The bus driver also was transported to a hospital, as she suffered minor injuries in the crash.
The causes for the crash are still under investigation. The bus driver did not appear to officials to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol after the crash, though the driver’s blood test results have not yet been released. However, Chicago Police have cited the bus driver for not stopping at a red light and for failing to exercise due care. While bus drivers owe a higher duty of care to protect their passengers than an average driver, bus drivers do not owe a heightened duty of care to the public at large. In the case at hand, the bus driver’s citation for failing to stop at a red light and failing to exercise the required duty of care indicate that she was driving negligently when she caused the accidents leading to numerous injuries and Ms. Coath’s death.
Should Ms. Coath’s heirs or estate choose to sue the bus driver for Ms. Coath’s wrongful death, this citation may be used as evidence going to show that the bus driver was not acting as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances, and thus that she should be held legally responsible for Ms. Coath’s injuries. A lawsuit against the bus driver as an individual might mean that injured individuals would not be able to collect enough in damages to cover their injuries. Since the bus driver was in the process of carrying out her job duties when the accident occurred, the driver’s employer can be held responsible for damages caused while carrying out her job duties, thus making it much more likely that injured parties would be able to recover enough to cover their injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. For experienced and knowledgeable legal representation for your bus or car accident, contact Lee and Fairman in Chicago and Homewood, Illinois. Call today from throughout the Chicago area for a free consultation on your claims, at 708-799-4848.