NJ Transit Bus Collision Reaches $1.7 Million Settlement
A Bergen County suit, Pastor v. NJ Transit, reaches a $1.7 million settlement for a man involved in a motor vehicle accident with a New Jersey Transit bus.
Plaintiff Renato Pastor was driving westbound on Route 3 in East Rutherford on September 16, 2019. He noticed he had a flat tire and pulled over to the side of the road. The stretch of highway was on a bridge with only a partial shoulder. He turned on his hazard lights and sat in the driver’s seat.
According to Pastor’s counsel, Adam Epstein, Erjon Rrosha was driving a New Jersey Transit bus westbound along the same path Pastor had taken. Rrosha continued traveling at 40 miles per hour as the bus approached Pastor’s vehicle. He did not slow down or take any evasive action to avoid colliding with Pastor who was still seated in the driver’s seat.
Dashcam footage from the bus shows that Pastor’s vehicle was visible to the bus for at least 10 seconds before the bus collided with him while traveling at 40 miles per hour.
Renato Pastor went to Hackensack University Medical Center after the crash where his cervical and thoracic fractures were diagnosed. He has undergone two surgeries and extensive therapy to repair the damage.
“This accident never would have happened if the New Jersey Transit bus driver was paying the slightest bit of attention to his surroundings,” Epstein said. “Mr. Pastor is lucky to be alive, but others might not be so lucky,” Epstein added. “New Jersey Transit needs to ensure that their drivers are properly qualified and trained before letting them get on the road and putting the general public at risk.”
On July 5, a settlement was reached during a conference before Bergen County Superior Court Judge Michael Beukas.
Thomas C. Hart and Brion McGlinn of Ruprecht Hart Ricciardulli & Sherman in Westfield, who represent New Jersey Transit, did not respond to a request for comment.