Bryant Whiz Kid Sues City For Ohio Bus Crash
A Bryant H.S. whiz kid seriously injured in April on a class trip to Ohio is suing the Department of Education (DOE) for hiring the bus company – and for the actions of teachers who allegedly knew the driver was driving recklessly and did nothing to stop his actions.
Victoria Xu, 17, was with other members of the Bryant robot-building team dubbed “the Owlbots”, heading back from the FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, Missouri, to the Long Island City school at about 7:30 a.m. on April 28, when their charter bus flipped over on a ramp traveling from I-70 eastbound to I-270 in Columbus, a spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Police said.
Fifteen students and four adults, including the bus driver, were taken to local hospitals for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash, authorities said.
Xu suffered a herniated disc and several broken ribs when the bus flipped over on the Ohio highway, the lawsuit alleges.
Xu filed suit recently, charging the DOE hired a negligent bus company to transport students on the trip the lawsuit states. The action also alleges that teachers on the bus knew the driver was driving recklessly and did nothing to stop him.
A spokesperson for the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (MCSA) said at the time of the accident that the Maryland-based company operating the charter bus had failed to respond to three recent letters requesting a compliance audit of maintenance performed on the bus.
The company, which was operating the bus under the name, “Platinum Magic Carpet Ride LLC”, had also been issued a warning by the Maryland Department of Transportation (DOT) about an impending license revocation, a spokesperson for the Maryland DOT said. Company officials had made plans to put the bus through a mandatory inspection prior to the crash, the spokesperson said.
The company did not respond to inquiries regarding postponement of the inspection.
A spokesperson for the city Law Department said attorneys are reviewing the claims and refused to comment further on the ongoing litigation.