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Back on Sept. 18, 2017, three New York City residents were killed in an early-morning bus crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was asked to step in and investigate what may have led to the accident. Just a few days ago, on Feb. 21, they issued their much-awaited report regarding detailing what they believe happened.

On the day of that fateful accident, a bus driver working for the charter company Dahlia Group Inc. ran a red light at a Queens intersection and crashed into a city bus that was directly in front of them. The impact of the crash caused the charter bus to jump a curb, mowing down pedestrians on a nearby sidewalk. Ultimately it came to rest inside the front of a restaurant where it caught on fire.

The incident claimed the life of the charter bus driver, a city bus passenger and a pedestrian Another 16 people suffered injuries.

Investigators initially thought that the charter bus driver’s poor driving record or that safety issues with the transportation company were to blame for the crash. They then learned that witnesses had seen the charter bus driver attempt, yet struggle, to get the charter bus to brake before the impact.

As the NTSB continued investigating the accident, they started to sense that a thermos bottle may have fallen on the floor and become wedged between the accelerator and brake pedals, something that made it impossible for the driver to stop.

When the NTSB released their report last week, they acknowledged that they tried to find other ways to explain what could have caused the bus driver to unintentionally accelerate the vehicle or to be unable to bring it to a halt. Since there weren’t any problems with its brake system or accelerator nor the bus driver’s training, they concluded that it was possible that the dropped thermos contributed to causing the crash.

Injury accidents that occur on public or charter buses present unique problems in terms of proving negligence. It’s often difficult to determine who to hold liable for an individual’s injuries. A motor vehicle accidents attorney who’s had success in shaping the law is best suited to fight for fair compensation if you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a senseless crash.