Abels & Annes

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Prompts Quinn’s Calls for Megabus Investigation

As a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer, I can tell you that in my experience these types of collisions tend to increase during summer months. Our office started working on a case last month where a pedestrian was killed while crossing in a crosswalk.

Now comes word of another deadly accident, this time involving a passenger bus. Gov. Pat Quinn is calling for an investigation into Megabus after a pair of fatal accidents, including a Chicago pedestrian accident that occurred earlier this week in The Loop.

As our Chicago personal injury lawyers reported, a Megabus accident in southern Illinois killed one passenger and injured dozens of others. The bus, which had been en route from Chicago, plunged off the road and into a concrete overpass support. 795921_crossing.jpg

The Tribune reported Quinn pushed for the investigation into the low-cost motor carrier company after the National Transportation Safety Board decided against launching a federal investigation into either accident.

“We believe that a full federal investigation into the operations and history of the firm would provide a baseline for any policy changes or other considerations that might logically result from what is learned about these crashes,” Quinn wrote to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who is a former congressman from the Peoria area.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is charged with oversight of passenger carrier vehicles, has launched several crackdowns on busing companies after several high-profile busing accidents earlier this year. The NTSB is also a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and is charged with investigating public transportation accident, including airline and bus crashes.

Tuesday’s accident in the West Loop claimed the life of Donna Halstead, 76, She was struck by the bus’ side mirror while trying to cross the street in a crosswalk. She was knocked down and later died.

CBS2 reports Megabus has been no stranger lately to controversy and safety concerns. The company recently agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who was struck and killed by a Megabus two years ago. (Abels & Annes had no involvement in that particular case). That incident happened just blocks from where Halstead was struck and killed this week.

Also this week, a Megabus caught fire in Georgia after blowing a tire en route from Atlanta to Charlotte and passengers on another of the company’s routes were forced to switch buses after a flat tire on I-55 near Joliet.

Officials want to ensure that the fast-growing, discount intercity bus line is not cutting costs when it comes to safety. It’s been a concern nationwide as the rise of discount carriers has forced bus companies to compete based on price. As with other discount carriers, the company saves money on terminals by picking riders up curbside. In recent years, the NTSB has found such curbside bus companies have an accident rate that is seven times higher than their more traditional terminal carrier counterparts.

It’s not unusual for pedestrians or cyclists to be victimized by these accidents. In fact, many of the casualties in school bus and commercial busing accidents are non-occupants. This typically means bicyclists or pedestrians. A significant number of accidents occur during the boarding process. In other cases, a bus’ size may contribute to an accident that occurs in a blind spot or while making a wide turn.