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Bus driver on cell phone jumps sidewalk, kills infant

A bus driver is being charged with death by auto in a tragic incident on July 30 that killed an eight-month-old baby on in West New York, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City. A police officer who arrived on the scene performed CPR on the infant, but ultimately was not able to save her.

Officers say the driver was talking on his cell phone when he lost control of the bus. It jumped the curb and struck a lamppost, which hit the baby carriage. In addition to the criminal offense of death by auto, which carries a prison term of five to ten years, the 48-year-old bus driver was issued summonses for reckless driving and using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

According to a witness, the bus had just completed a stop to let off and pick up passengers when the chaos began. As soon as the bus started up again, the wheels began to spin and the bus seemed to go out of control. It jumped the curb and crashed into a lamppost, which struck the baby in her carriage. The bus continued moving, hitting a tree and then another lamppost. It also hit a parked car, which in turn plowed into several other parked cars. One of those cars had four people in it who suffered minor injuries.

Although both New Jersey and New York have taken steps to strengthen their laws against using mobile devices while driving, it only takes one distracted driver who has lost focus for a second to cause a tragic accident. Although in situations like this, no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one, attorneys who specialize in personal injury law can help ensure that the person at fault is held accountable, and that the family is able to receive compensation to handle funeral expenses and help with other financial burdens as the result of the actions of a careless driver.

The Star-Ledger, “Driver charged after baby is killed when bus slams into lamppost in West New York” James Queally, Jul. 31, 2013

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