A spectacular tour bus fire on Interstate 4 recently snarled traffic for hours, and gawkers slowing down for a better view as well as those who stopped for a better look created a very dangerous situation. The tour bus was parked on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes when the fire began around noon on Sunday, April 18. Observers said that smoke from the fire could be seen for miles until firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames shortly thereafter. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham cautions drivers that slowing down to get a better view of an accident scene is reckless and creates a potentially dangerous distracted driving situation.
Accident investigators say that the bus driver was the only person on the bus when the bus caught fire and that there were no injuries reported in connection with the fire. The investigation into the fire is ongoing, but the driver said a tire blew shortly before the fire began. He speculated that the exploding tire caused a piece of hot metal to enter the gas tank, causing the explosion and fire.
Many drivers and passengers slowed or pulled over into the median to snap photos and take footage of the fire with smartphones and digital cameras. One driver, Philip Podskalan, told reporters that he drove by the bus before fire engines arrived at the scene and saw flames erupting from the engine compartment. He said the bus was completely engulfed in flames in seconds. Podskalan was one of many drivers who pulled into the median and the shoulder of I-4 to photograph firefighters putting out the fire. Some drivers were shooting footage of the fire while their vehicles were moving.
As previously mentioned, slowing down or stopping entirely to take photographs of an accident scene creates a very dangerous situation for accident investigators, other motorists and anyone nearby. Anyone who causes an accident while distracted by taking pictures or footage with a cell phone or digital camera can be legally responsible. If you have been injured by a negligent driver who is distracted by an accident, the at-fault party can be held liable for damages. For more information about your rights and legal options, call Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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