Fatal Multi-Vehicle Accident Kills 5: What Are The Victims Rights?

In the early hours of Sunday, January 5, five people were killed with 60 being hospitalized as a result of a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The accident occurred when a loaded bus went out of control on a hill, rolling over, and setting off a chain reaction involving three tractor-trailers and a passenger car.

Associated Press reports that:

“The injured victims, ranging from 7 to 67 years old, are all expected to survive, though two patients remain in critical condition, authorities and hospital officials said Sunday afternoon. The crash, which happened at 3:40 a.m. on a mountainous and rural stretch of the interstate about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh, shut down the highway in both directions for several hours before it reopened Sunday evening.

Two UPS drivers, Daniel Kepner, 53, and Dennis Kehler, 48, were killed in the crash, company spokeswoman Kristen Petrella said. Both were driving together in a tractor-trailer out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Petrella said.”

“The bus was traveling from Rockaway, New Jersey, to Cincinnati, Ohio, Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Stephen Limani told reporters.

He said the bus, operated by a New Jersey-based company called Z & D Tours, was traveling downhill on a curve, careened up an embankment and rolled over. Two tractor-trailers then struck the bus. A third tractor-trailer then crashed into those trucks. A passenger car was also involved in the pileup.”

Among the deceased include the bus driver, Shuang Qing Feng, 58, of Flushing, N.Y. and two bus passengers, Eileen Zelis Aria, 35, of Bronx, N.Y. and Jaremy Vazquez, a 9-year-old girl from Brooklyn,N.Y., according to the Westmoreland County coroner.

It may take weeks or months for the official cause of the wreck to be determined according to Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Stephen Limani.

What are Your Legal Options if You Lose a Loved One in a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Most fatal accidents occur between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. on Saturday night into early Sunday morning. If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal, multi-vehicle accident, there are legal options for you.

You may be able to press charges against the driver who causes the accident and subsequently, the chain of events that follow. However, if no one accepts fault, the case becomes more complex.

Remember, when the accident involves a driving company, you can also file a civil lawsuit against both the driver and the company for both economic and non-economic damages, plus funeral expenses for your loved one. If the weather is a factor in the fatal accident, there are even more legal actions you may be able to take.

We understand how difficult this time can be. But the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get the justice you deserve. Now is the time to act. Contact the fatal multi-vehicle accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli to find out what options may exist for your family.