A private charter bus transporting a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses through the Miami International Airport to a convention struck and overpass while trying to pass under it. The collision left two dead and several people critically injured.
The overpass was 8.5 feet tall. Taller vehicles are supposed to go through the departures area, not the arrivals area. The charter bus driver was reportedly lost at the time of the accident.
This collision raises many questions. First, how does a professional driver in Miami get lost, particularly while going through the Miami International Airport? Bus drivers are not only drivers of commercial motor vehicles but the are also what is known as common carriers–companies who transport people for a fee. Common carriers are typically held to a much higher standard of care due to the fact that they driver the general public for profit.
Second, how was this man not able to contact dispatch and determine exactly where he was and where he needed to go? Surely he had radio access and could have gotten assistance. Was he not trained properly?
Third, there were two signs warning the driver not to go under the overpass. one read “High Vehicle STOP Turn Left.” The other one warned drivers to turn left if their vehicle was over 8 feet 6 inches high. Why did the driver not turn left and avoid this? Could he not read the signs? Was he not informed of the height of his own vehicle? Or, did he simply ignore it?
In any event, this collision was clearly avoidable and preventable. There is no doubt that the people injured and those family members of the innocent victims should consult a bus accident lawyer. Simmons and Fletcher will handle bus and commercial motor vehicle accidents nationwide and can be contacted at 713-932-0777.