What is being described as an Access-A-Ride bus drove off a northbound ramp on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Washington Heights, landing upright in a snowy, wooded area between the southbound and northbound lanes at least 20 feet below. The only two people on board suffered serious injuries. The cause of the crash is unclear, but investigators are looking into whether ice on the road was a factor.
It is believed that, just before 9 a.m. on March 10, the mini bus was traveling north on the Henry Hudson Parkway when it veered off the road near an emergency U-turn lane, sliding about 100 feet. It then crashed through a stone retaining wall and dropped to the ground below, coming to a stop after it hit a tree.
The accident happened near the George Washington Bridge, injuring the two people who were on board. Firefighters were shown via helicopter camera footage picking their way around the branches and snow to get to the scene. Both victims suffered leg injuries, while the man also experienced heart palpitations. They were admitted to a nearby hospital and were in stable condition. Park workers were clearing a path while iron workers were taking down part of a fence so that a tow truck could remove the bus, resulting in traffic being congested for several hours.
When poor weather conditions contribute to motor vehicle accidents, investigators also consider how fast the drivers were traveling and whether the vehicles were well maintained. If a commercial vehicle is not maintained well enough to handle road conditions and is involved a crash that injuries its passengers, the company may be held responsible for the resulting damages. It may also be the case that the driver was negligent in driving too fast considering the weather at the time.
Source: NBC New York, "Bus Crashes Through Stone Wall, Slides Down Embankment Near George Washington Bridge, 2 Seriously Hurt: FDNY," March 10, 2015Source: ABC 7, "Jitney Bus Goes Off Ramp Near George Washington Bridge," March 10, 2015