Posted December 9, 2015 | Personal Injury
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, better known to locals as SEPTA, safely transports about 780,000 passengers throughout Philadelphia every day. However, like any public transportation company, SEPTA is not without its share of serious and fatal accidents. At least three SEPTA accidents occurred in a period of less than one month, from October 14 to November 2, killing one victim and injuring seven others.
SEPTA’s Route 18 bus carries hundreds if not thousands of passengers between Fox Chase and Cedarbrook Plaza each day. It’s a short, 22-minute ride, crossing less than eight miles in a jagged line from east to west.
On Monday, November 2, a Route 18 bus was navigating the familiar turn onto Oxford Avenue. At the same time, a flat-bed truck carrying a massive front-loader tractor was making its way north up Oxford toward the intersection with Rhawn Street, following a motorcycle police escort.
Unfortunately, the escort was unable to prevent an accident from occurring. Just before 12:30 P.M., the truck and bus collided as the latter attempted to make a right turn. The force of the impact drove the truck’s tractor cargo into the storefront of Blooming Artist Studio located at 7971 Oxford Avenue, smashing through glass and terrifying onlookers.
Nora McKloskey, who was painting inside the studio at the time of the crash, rushed outside to see what had happened.
“I just saw that giant, white truck stuck into the side of my building, the corner of my building, and then I immediately thought how glad I was that it didn’t come into me,” she told reporters. “A woman was screaming. I was so lucky that it didn’t swing over to the right because that’s where I was.”
Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as McKloskey. Two passengers and the bus driver were treated for non-lethal injuries at Aria Health Torresdale, from which all three have since been released.
“It’s crazy,” said bystander Josh Buss. “I don’t understand how a driver like that can miss that guy with a police escort. It doesn’t make any sense.”
The bus driver, whose name was not publicly released, says she cannot remember anything about the collision. The accident remains under investigation.
SEPTA’s CCT service, or Customized Community Transportation, provides paratransit services to disabled riders and senior citizens, who can ride for free with a valid ID.
Around 5:30 P.M. on Wednesday, October 28, an unidentified 61-year-old man was killed when a Ford E350 SEPTA paratransit Connect Bus smashed into the side of his 2004 Chrysler Sebring in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia. The man immediately lost control of the Sebring, crossing into the northbound lane and driving over a curb before finally crashing into a guardrail near the intersection of Whitby Avenue and Cobbs Creek Parkway.
Sadly, just after 6:30 P.M., the man was pronounced dead at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center near the intersection of 39th and Market Street.
Three other victims were non-fatally injured in the collision: the 33-year-old bus driver who sustained a back injury, an 85-year-old who sustained a hand injury, and a 75-year-old passenger who required observation but whose injuries were not specified.
Police officials are continuing to investigate the crash.
SEPTA’s Route 70 bus carries passengers along a five-and-a-half mile journey from Frankford Avenue and Gregg Street at the eastern end to Fern Rock Transportation Center at the western end.
Just after 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 14, a 91-year-old woman identified as Mary Gable was attempting to cross the intersection of 5th Street and Godfrey Avenue when she was struck by a Route 70 bus headed eastbound on Godfrey as the bus navigated a left turn.
Gable, whose torso and legs were crushed beneath the bus, was immediately rushed to Einstein Medical Center for emergency treatment. She was initially listed as being in critical condition, a status which has not been updated since the date of the accident. However, despite her advanced age and the severe nature of the injuries she sustained, people who knew Gable were optimistic about her prognosis.
“She’s healthy, she’s strong as a bull,” neighbor Denise Henley told reporters. “She makes balloons, she polka dances, she goes to the hospital and visits the sick and does polka dancing for them, and she always shows me how she walks as a penguin.”
According to Chief Inspector Scott Small, who is investigating the accident, “From witnesses, they believe that the female, who was walking west on Godfrey, crossing 5th, had the green light, which means that the SEPTA bus, which was traveling east on Godfrey at 5th, also had the green light.”
However, as Small also pointed out, “Pedestrians have the right of way regardless if there is a green light or red light. The pedestrian always has the right of way. You have to come to a complete stop, and do whatever it takes to avoid striking a pedestrian.”
If someone you love was hit by a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, your family may be entitled to compensation. Call personal injury lawyer Brent Wieand at (888) 789-3161 to set up a free and completely confidential consultation. You will not be charged any fees unless Brent makes a recovery for you.
***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.***