Truck driver that crashed into bus in East Haven gets $100 fine
EAST HAVEN, Jan 19, 2013 (New Haven Register - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The driver of the truck that crashed into a stopped CT Transit bus, sending more than two-dozen people to the hospital in May, received a $100 ticket for following too closely last month, police said.
Juan Rodriguez of Allentown, Pa., was ordered to pay the fine. Police said Rodriguez was driving a red truck east on Frontage Road in the right lane when he struck the rear of the bus.
Rodriguez told police a white or gray car cut in front of him while he was in the left lane, which caused him to swerve. Police viewed video, which only showed only Rodriguez traveling in the right lane. The video did not show anyone cutting him off or Rodriguez switching lanes, police said.
Another driver who witnessed the accident gave police a statement that was consistent with the video, police said.
According to the police report, the East Haven Fire Department counted 27 people transported to the hospital, including the drivers of the truck and the bus, with four people refusing medical attention. A police officer's report indicates there were 28 people involved in the accident.
The bus was stopped while Gary Cole placed his bike on the front bike rack of the bus and was walking to enter the bus. The report says when the bus was pushed forward from the impact of the crash, Cole's head struck the windshied of the bus, cracking the windshield.
Police say the speedometer of the truck was "frozen" at 49 mph; the speed limit on Frontage Road is 35 mph.
Rodriguez said Friday night he had already paid a ticket and "feels good that everyone's OK."
Police looked into other factors to determine the cause of the crash, they said.
"They looked into some other things like distracted driving, trying to see if he was on his cell (phone), but there were no calls or transmissions," said East Haven police Sgt. David Emerman.
Call Jennifer Swift at 203-789-5615.
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