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Emergency responders have to act fast after hilltop bus crash

If you traveled only a few miles on some of the more heavily trafficked roads and highways here in New Jersey, there is a very good chance that you would observe the drivers of passenger cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles driving somewhat carelessly around trucks or buses, perhaps darting in front of them or following them very closely.

That’s because many drivers mistakenly believe that these trucks and buses are capable of the same driving maneuvers as their smaller passenger vehicles. This is actually far from the case, as these large vehicles not only require greater distances to come to a complete stop, but also more time to accelerate to their desired speed.

To illustrate what can happen when motorists fail to account for these differences, consider a bus accident that occurred in Burlington County just last night.

According to reports, emergency responders were summoned to East Kings Highway and Route 38 yesterday at around 6:25p.m. to assist with an accident in which a sport utility vehicle appeared to rear-end a paratransit bus transporting patients.

What made this particular motor vehicle accident so unique and so challenging was that the sheer force of the collision forced the bus over the guardrail, where it rested precariously in a group of trees situated above a 50-foot ravine.

Fortunately, the emergency responders were able to successfully extract both the bus driver and a patient stuck inside out through one of the bus windows.

“We had patients inside that vehicle, so we had to make sure before we even went in there and got them, we stabilized that vehicle so our guys could go in there and get them,” said the fire chief of Maple Shade Township.

The bus driver, patient and driver of the SUV, who escaped his vehicle under his own power, were all taken to area hospitals for treatment for various personal injuries.

As for the bus, crews were able to safely move it down the ravine by using a tow truck situated on top of the embankment and another one situated down below.

Those who’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, bus transit accident or mass transit accident need to understand that they have options for securing justice, and that an experienced legal professional can explain these options and protect their best interests.

Source: WPVI-TV, “NJ Transit paratransit bus involved in accident in Maple Shade Township,” Oct. 16, 2013; CBS Philly, “NJ transit bus involved in Maple Shade crash; 3 injured,” Ileana Diaz, Oct. 16, 2013

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