The United States has an expansive public transport network including trains, buses, and planes. With so many active components, there’s no surprise that there have been several horrific public transport accidents over the years.
The Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster
The Ashtabula River railroad disaster takes us back to 1876 when a Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway was carrying 159 passengers spread across 11 railcars. When the train was crossing the Ashtabula River gorge bridge, the bridge collapsed and sent the train crashing into the freezing waters below. A series of heating stoves, oil lamps, and other flammable gear set then set the train ablaze. Following this disaster, which took the lives of 98 people, an investigation found that the eleven-year-old bridge had faults in the design.
The Wellington Avalanche Disaster
Many accidents can be traced back to negligence on behalf of one of the parties involved, but that wasn’t the case during the Wellington avalanche disaster. In March 1910, a 14-foot wall of snow broke away from the Cascade Mountain Range and plunged into two passenger trains, which took the lives of 96 people. Although this isn’t the deadliest transportation accident, the devastating avalanche led to effective railroad changes including tunnels and concrete snow shelters.
The Mother’s Day Bus Crash
Buses use roads just like any other vehicle, meaning they’re just as susceptible to being involved in accidents. In 1999, a chartered bus carrying 46 people between New Orleans and a Mississippi casino, ended up rolling through three lanes of traffic before crashing through a barrier and into the embankment.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the driver was under the influence of marijuana and had traces of Benadryl in his system. Other than a hefty fine, there were no other consequences for the bus company.
The Prestonsburg Bus Crash
In February 1958, the lives of 27 people were claimed when a bus carrying 48 school children slammed into the back of a wrecker, which sent it flying over the railing and into a river. This accident wasn’t caused by impairment or faulty equipment; it all happened because the wrecker suddenly began to slow down, which left the bus driver with very few safe options to escape the collision.
United Airlines Flight 232
There are around 45,000 domestic flights daily, and they largely go ahead without any issues. However, there have been a number of devastating aviation accidents in US history. For example, United Airlines Flight 232 – flying between Chicago and Denver in 1989 – suffered an engine failure that damaged the hydraulics and took the control system offline. With little control of the plane, the crew attempted to land the plane in Sioux City, Iowa, but a series of unfortunate events led to the plane splitting in half and catching on fire immediately upon landing. Even though 112 people died, the rest of the 296 onboard escaped with their lives.
Accidents on public transport can be traumatic for anyone, and the injuries sustained can lead to permanent life changes.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger on any public transport, contact Binder Law Group PLC by visiting the following office:
16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436
Or call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.