Patience Albert Brooklyn: Patience Heaven Albert Killed In Brooklyn School Bus Accident By Wortman Avenue and Crescent Street
EAST NEW YORK, BROOKLYN (February 25, 2020) – A 10-year-old girl identified as Patience Heaven Albert has tragically died in a school bus accident that took place by Worthman Avenue and Crescent Street.
New York Police Department officials are saying that the accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. Patience Heaven Albert was crossing the street on their way to an Achievement First charter school.
A school bus making a right turn hit the little girl and her brother. Patience Heaven Albert was taken to the Brookdale University Hospital in order to receive treatment.
Her brother was also taken away from the scene by EMTs. Despite life-saving measures the 10-year-old girl later died due to her injuries.
The 61-year-old driver of the school bus was arrested and charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian. The victim’s Godmother Najia Li said, “Patience was funny and extremely smart. She loved school and wanted to be a veterinarian. Patience comes from a loving family, with both parents nurturing and providing for her. She was loved by her classmates and the community.”
Parents are saying that more needs to be done at this intersection to help keep pedestrians safe. The area lacks speed bumps and people don’t respect the stop signs.
An investigation into the Brooklyn school bus accident that killed Patience Heaven Albert remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Brooklyn School Bus Accidents
School buses are by far the safest form of transportation for students heading to school. Pedestrians, however, are often the most at risk from school buses. According to the NHTSA, “about 134 people die in school-vehicle-related crashes each year. Of those, 8% are riding in the buses. Pedestrians, bicyclists and others outside the bus account for 21% of fatalities.” One of the major problems with school buses is that they tend to have very large blind spots.
School buses are considered “common carriers” under the law. As common carriers bus drivers are held to a very high standard in order to keep passengers and pedestrians safe. According to Squaw Valley Ski Corporation v. Superior Court, “The elevated standard of care for common carriers is “based on a recognition that the privilege of serving the public as a common carrier necessarily entails great responsibility, requiring common carriers to exercise a high duty of care towards their customers.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to a bus accident including:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver intoxication
- Inclement weather
- Brake problems
- Roadway problems
Bus drivers have a legal responsibility to exercise due care to avoid pedestrians. According to New York Traffic Law 1146, “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist, pedestrian, or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic animal” shall mean domesticated sheep, cattle, and goats which are under the supervision and control of a pedestrian.” Depending on circumstances of a crash, drivers that hit pedestrians may face:
- Points on their license
- Jail time
- Civil liability
If a bus driver was working at the time of an accident the company or county that employed that bus driver may face civil liability. Generally speaking, companies and government agencies are responsible for the negligent actions of their drivers. This is true as long as the driver was working within the course and scope of their job duties. A company could also be liable for an accident if they failed to do a proper background check on a driver and they had an unsafe record.
New York City may potentially face civil liability for a school bus accident for failing to maintain safe road conditions. Cities in New York have a legal responsibility to design, construct and maintain roads that are reasonably safe. According to New York’s highest court, a city could be liable for speeding drivers if the DOT fails to install traffic calming measures along a road even though it’s aware of dangerous speeding. It’s important that evidence is properly preserved and collected after an accident.
The family of any victim that died in a school bus accident may be able to seek justice through a wrongful death claim. This will be the case if the driver was negligent. Negligence is simply the failure to act in a way so as to prevent causing harm. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of love. Unfortunately, school districts and cities will often try hard to deny responsibility for an accident. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what caused an accident.
Investigating A Brooklyn School Bus Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Patience Heaven Albert. It is our sincere hope that her brother is able to make a full recovery. This was an utterly preventable accident that should not have taken place. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the NYPD as they continue their investigation. There needs to be some accountability for what happened. Beyond that, city officials need to listen to the parents saying that this intersection is dangerous. The DOT should conduct a study to help determine how this intersection could be made safer. No family should ever have to suffer through something like this.