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Husband Watches in Horror as Wife Struck and Killed by Private Bus

On January 25, 2013 a husband helplessly watched as a private bus struck and killed his wife in the morning in a horrific accident in Brooklyn.

Lorraine Ferguson, 48, was waiting for a New York City bus with her husband shortly before 7:15 a.m. in Canarsie on Avenue K and East 105th Street. They had been staying in their car to stay warm, when Ms. Ferguson saw the bus coming about a block away.

She exited her vehicle and began to cross the street to the bus stop when Mr. Ferguson watched a private bus blow through a stop sign and run his wife over. A witness said Ms. Ferguson died immediately.

Police say no criminality is suspected and the driver stayed on the scene, but the investigation is ongoing.

The private bus was carrying two handicapped children, who were not injured, and placed on a different bus. Rides Unlimited, which is based in Islandia, Long Island, owned the bus. The company provides transportation for the disabled.

Legal Principles

Obviously, the decedent's estate (woman killed) has a viable lawsuit against the bus company for their negligence in failing to stop for the stop sign and striking and killing the decedent. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the rights of the husband of the decedent. There is a legal principle called the 'zone of danger' which allows a family member to recover money when their loved one suffers a horrific accident, provided that loved one is within a 'zone of danger' to observe the terror and horror of the accident and the injuries that flow from that trauma.

The 'zone of danger' rule applies to someone who was with the party who was killed that was within sight; almost within touching distance of the person killed and the witness to the tragedy. This legal concept allows that family member to recover money for the emotional horror and psychological injuries they may endure as a result of watching their loved one become terribly mangled, permanently injured or killed.

In order to prove a Zone of Danger case you (the plaintiff) will have to show several things:

  1. That the defendant though his negligence put the family witness in danger of death or injury. In other words, it was possible that you could have been involved in the accident along with your loved one.
  2. That you are contemporaneously aware of the death or serious injury of an immediate family member.
  3. The person who is injured must be an immediate family member. That means the person injured must be your mother, father, son, daughter, brother or sister. In New York, to date, no other familial relationships are recognized in a Zone of Danger action.
  4. You have to show a physical or psychic/emotional injury as a consequence of having witnessed the accident. You have to prove through admissible medical evidence, that witnessing the serious injury or death of your immediate family member has caused you harm.

If you have been involved in a bus accident and have not been given the compensation that is rightfully yours when you have been injured, a Bronx personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. can help. Contact a Bronx personal injury attorney from our office to take on your case.

Categories: Bus Accident


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The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. - Bronx Personal Injury Attorney
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