It’s a good bet that most people never consider the possibility of being injured while riding on public transit, yet traffic accidents involving city buses, commuter trains and taxi cabs occur every day across the country, in cities like Baltimore, Annapolis and even the District. Although safety measures are in place to help avoid injuries, collisions between buses, commercial trucks and passenger cars can and do happen with alarming frequency.
As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, I know that accidents involving buses, taxis and limousines can result in serious injuries, such as broken arms and legs, cracked collar bones and ribs, skull fractures and spinal injuries. Depending on the road conditions, a bus or taxi cab accident can even result in death — fatal wrecks like these are the most heart-rending and regrettable accidents, since the victims usually have a fair expectation of safety when being transported by professionals.
Not long ago, a Hagerstown driver died when his pickup truck collided with a city bus along Interstate 70 near Big Pool, MD. According to Maryland State Police, 69-year-old Ray Linebaugh was apparently traveling westbound in his 2004 Dodge Ram when for some reason the vehicle veered into the median, crossing over into the eastbound lanes of I-70 and collided with a Megabus that was broken down on the roadside with mechanical problems.
The accident, which occurred late on a Monday morning, injured three people on the bus, including the driver. By the time police and emergency responders arrived on the scene, Linebaugh was already dead, killed by injuries he sustained in the crash. Based on police reports, the other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported by ambulance to Hagerstown’s Meritus Medical Center.
Police were still investigating the accident at the time of the news report, however this type of accident can occasionally be caused by faulty steering equipment or failure of some other safety-related component on a passenger car. In this particular case, although the exact reasons were still unknown, the pickup truck reportedly hit the left side of the 2010 Van Hool commuter bus, which was loaded with nearly 20 people and headed to its ultimate destination of Washington, D.C.
Police could not name a specific cause for the crash, but did say that the Megabus was parked on the shoulder of the interstate waiting for another bus to arrive and take the passengers the rest of the way to D.C. a team of traffic accident investigators was expected to look into the reasons for the crash, and the body of the deceased pickup driver was scheduled for an autopsy by the Baltimore Medical Examiner’s Office.
UPDATE: Hagerstown man identified in Interstate 70 crash, TheRecordHerald.com, March 1, 2011