Family of Farmingdale HS student files summons and complaint against bus company, driver following fatal crash
The family of a Farmingdale student involved in last week’s fatal bus rollover in Orange County has filed a summons and complaint against the bus company and driver.
The complaint was filed against Regency Transportation and 59-year-old Lisa Schaffer, of Centereach, who has been identified as the driver.
The crash killed the Farmingdale High School band director and a former teacher who was serving as a chaperone. Multiple students were also injured and are expected to be OK.
The survivor is a 14-year-old girl from the high school. Andrew Finkelstein, a managing partner at Jacoby & Meyers represents the survivor and her family.
He said thankfully, she's out of the hospital, but she suffered broken bones in her face and will require surgery.
The long-term mental and emotional effects of the crash, however, won't easily heal.
As the process for the civil lawsuit continues, Finkelstein says they need to learn more about what happened.
"We're looking at really why did this happen, but more importantly, it was both predictable and preventable,” he said. “It should have been prevented with early recognition of either a driver that shouldn't have been driving or a mechanical problem with the vehicle."
An exact cause for the crash is still under investigation, but attorneys say the cause was either mechanical or human error.
"We know that the bus, if it was in proper working order, or alternatively, if the driver was driving appropriately, the bus doesn't leave the highway and go down a ravine and this tragedy doesn't happen," said Finkelstein.
Her attorney also says they've been contacted by a few other survivors as well.
After filing this notice and complaint, attorneys for the family and the survivor must await a response from the defendants before moving forward with the lawsuit.
Finkelstein says they currently don’t have evidence of negligence on the part of the Farmingdale Union Free School District. This could change, however, as new evidence may surface.