In Fulton County, on September 6th, the driver of a pickup truck crossed the center lane of Roosevelt Highway and veered into oncoming traffic. The pickup collided head-on with a MARTA bus, killing the pickup driver and injuring the bus driver.
Thankfully, there were no passengers aboard the bus at the time, and no one else was injured, though the highway did need to be shut down to facilitate an investigation. It’s not clear what caused the pickup driver to swerve into the bus’s lane.
Drivers Need to Take Care When Maneuvering Around Buses
Even though the bus driver was not at fault, according to police, this collision is one of a long, ongoing pattern of MARTA-involved accidents. Only a day after the Roosevelt Highway incident, an accident in southwest Atlanta between two cars and a MARTA bus resulted in 14 injuries, 12 of them to passengers of the bus. According to a MARTA spokesperson, the bus driver was not at fault in that case either, but rather was caught up in an accident that started between the two cars.
Two days later, a MARTA bus and a police car collided in an intersection, while the bus had the green light and the police car had its emergency lights on. An investigation is ongoing, but it may be that the police officer turned on the lights at the last moment, after it was too late for the bus to stop.
Back in May, another accident notably similar to the one on Roosevelt Highway occurred in Dekalb County, when another pickup truck turned in front of another MARTA bus, according to the same MARTA spokesperson. That incident resulted in 10 injuries, though fortunately none of them appeared serious on the scene. The same MARTA spokesperson also reported in January of 2018 that another head-on collision between a MARTA bus and a personal vehicle happened in much the same way: with the personal vehicle veering into the oncoming lanes.
Assuming that these reports are accurate and MARTA was truly blameless in all of these incidents — or even some of them — it’s clear that everyone from police to daily commuters should be more careful in their encounters with MARTA buses. Buses are large, slow, and make frequent stops, so it’s common for other drivers to become impatient around them, but too much impatience, a reckless impulse, or a lapse in judgement can leave a driver dead, hurt, and/or liable for injuries to a bus full of people.
MARTA Drivers Must Also Exercise Particular Care
Regardless of how many other drivers make serious errors around MARTA buses, the weight and destructive potential of the buses themselves cannot be ignored. MARTA drivers hold dozens of lives in their hands, including both their own passengers and the occupants of smaller vehicles a bus could easily crush. Any time there’s a possibility that this weighty responsibility has not been honored, further investigation is warranted.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a MARTA bus, whether as a passenger or in your own vehicle, call The Stoddard Firm to learn about your options.