Thirty-Five People, Mostly Students, Injured after “Dream” Tour of Harvard University

 Destined for our Dream foundation inspires students through life coaching over a 27 week “Dream Academy” that culminates in a tour of one of four college campuses, according to founder Eric Waller-Hill, a former Olympic shot put hopeful. This Saturday, the kickoff tour to Harvard University ended in horror as the charter tour bus slammed into an overpass. 35 people were injured, according to Massachusetts State police, at least one in critical condition.

Bus driver Samuel J. Jackson failed to heed warning signs of height restrictions when he Harvard bustraveled on Soldiers Field Road, a street with a 10 foot height restriction where oversize vehicles are not permitted. Jackson was using his GPS at the time, which brings back memories of the Syracuse, New York bus crash in 2010 when the double-decker mega bus driver was using a GPS and crashed into a low overpasses, killing four.

The motor carrier of the bus is Ray Talmadge, who does business under the name Calvary Coach. Talmage has been targeted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for prioritized intervention due to a high efficiency level in hours of service compliance. It’s two buses had four federal violations in 2011, although none of them are serious enough to be considered out of service violations. The violations all involved the failure to keep a current logbook documenting the bus drivers hours of service. Log books and hours of service regulations are important help identify and deter driver fatigue.

I wonder if Garmin or other GPS providers will market GPS devices for commercial motor vehicles that warned of low overpasses. That certainly would have been helpful the Harvard and Syracuse bus crashes.

Do you have questions about your rights following a truck or bus crash? Ask Attorney Michael Leizerman at michael@leizerman.com or call 1-800-628-4500.


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