It was a Monday evening in the Ogontz section of Philadelphia, and rush hour was winding down. Some commuters that chose to ride one SEPTA bus home were in for an unpleasant end to their day. In a chaotic moment, a car appeared to come out of nowhere, lose control and crash into oncoming traffic. The driver slammed into the SEPTA bus, causing serious damage.
In total, this head-on collision resulted in 21 of the 55 passengers sustaining minor injuries that required hospitalization. However, the car received the brunt of the impact. The passenger, a 58-year-old Philadelphia resident, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver and niece of the passenger, a 31-year-old, suffered multiple broken bones and is currently in extremely critical condition.
“How she ended up in the opposite lane is a mystery to us all,” according to one witness. However, the Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector reports that the car smelled of alcohol and even had open containers of alcohol within. While the full investigation is still pending, it appears that the driver was likely impaired.
Aside from criminal charges, if it is determined that this driver was impaired, she could be held civilly liable. There are 23 separate parties that were injured in this crash, each of them requiring at least some medical attention. Each party maintains the right to pursue a civil case to recoup for their medical expenses, as well as compensate for any pain and suffering.
Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, “1 Dead, 22 Hurt After SEPTA Bus & Car Collide,” David Chang and Dan Stamm, Aug. 14, 2012