Kevin Thomas Newark: Kevin Thomas Killed In Newark Hit-And-Run Bus Accident On Stanford Avenue
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (February 19, 2020) – A New Jersey transit bus driver has been arrested on suspicion of killing Kevin Thomas in a bus accident that took place along Stanford Avenue.
New Jersey police officials are saying that the collision happened on New Year’s Eve. For reasons that remain under investigation a New Jersey transit bus hit Kevin Thomas and dragged him with the bus.
A 34-year-old bus driver from Bloomfield is suspected of fleeing the scene. Paramedics were called to the scene and took Kevin Thomas to the hospital. The victim was treated at the hospital but later died due to his injuries on January 6th.
The 34-year-old suspect was arrested as she was trying to board a plane at the Newark Liberty International airport. She is currently being charged with vehicular homicide by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
An investigation into the Newark bus accident that killed Kevin Thomas remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Newark Bus Accidents
There are over 30,000 commercial buses in use in the United States. Bus drivers must undergo substantial training and get a commercial license. Despite safety precautions accidents still happen. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016. Although the number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009, the 2017 number is still 7 percent lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 in 2005. From 2016 to 2017, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 6.8 percent, from 0.146 to 0.156. ” There are a number of factors commonly associated with bus accidents including:
- Brake problems
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
Commercial buses tend to have large spots. If a driver is not careful and does not check their blind spots they can easily hit a pedestrian. If a bus driver hits a pedestrian they may be cited for failure to exercise due care. According to New Jersey Vehicle Code 39:4-36. a, “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise regulated by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.”
Bus companies are considered “common carriers” under the law. As such, they are held to a high standard in terms of safety. They must take every precaution to take measures in order to avoid causing accidents. It is a felony to flee the scene of a car accident that results in bodily injury or death. There are a number of penalties that a driver may face if they flee the scene of an accident that injures a pedestrian. These penalties may include:
- License suspension
- Points on a license
When a bus driver is negligent and hits a pedestrian the company that they work for will typically be held at fault. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior companies are responsible for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those employees are working within the course and scope of their employment. If the owner of the bus is a city or government entity they may face civil liability for an accident. It is important that evidence is properly collected and preserved after an accident. Among other things, eye witnesses should be sought out and interviewed.
The family of any victim that died in a bus accident may be able to seek justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of love. Beneficiaries in a civil claim may include the victim’s spouse, children siblings and parents. Unfortunately, bus companies will often fight hard to deny liability after an accident. A bus accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what may have caused an accident.
Investigating A Newark Transit Bus Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Kevin Thomas. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the Newark Police Department at (510) 578-4237. As personal injury attorneys and consumer safety advocates it is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to prevent additional accidents in this area. No family should ever have to go through something like this. These accidents are largely preventable when bus drivers adhere to safety standards.