Our Chicago CTA bus accident lawyers have been closely following the investigation into the recent bus crash that injured 37 people on Saturday. We reported how the bus driver claimed that problems with the front wheels and/or the steering wheel on the bus caused the driver to veer off Lake Shore Drive and crash. Until recently, the CTA had not released a statement regarding their investigation.
Yesterday, CTA officials finally released a statement finding all bus equipment, including the steering and handling components, to be in good condition. Admittedly, however, the CTA has not completed its investigation because a court order has prevented the agency from conducting any “destructive testing” or retrieving any further data from the “black box” recorder on the bus.
The CTA’s preliminary findings contradict statements, not only from the bus driver, but also from passengers. According to reports, several passengers who were interviewed stated that another passenger tried to help the bus driver pull the steering wheel straight after the front wheels started pulling hard to the right, but couldn’t.
Fortunately for the injured victims in this accident, the legal process will allow their own investigators and experts to conduct their own investigation into how this accident occurred. At least one personal injury lawsuit has been filed by a passenger against the CTA arising out of this crash, and more are certain to follow, depending on the severity of injuries sustained.
The recent court orders allow the evidence to be preserved, and provides for a more balanced investigation into the true cause of this accident. Was it caused by defective components on the bus? Was it caused by driver error? What does an independent examination of the bus, including information retrieved from the black box reveal? What can the driver and passengers tell us about how this accident occurred? Should the CTA have known about problems with this bus, or with this bus driver, before this accident?
Most importantly: should this accident have been prevented?
Our CTA injury lawyers will continue to advocate on behalf of victims in public transportation accidents who rely on agencies such as the CTA for safe travel on a daily basis. If it turns out that this accident should have been prevented through reasonable conduct of the bus driver or those responsible with the CTA, the civil justice system is the only place to hold those responsible accountable.
For a free consultation with a top Chicago CTA bus accident lawyer, call Passen & Powell at 312-527-4500.