By Ishita Srivastava For Dailymail.Com
22:02 04 Oct 2023, updated 22:02 04 Oct 2023
- Kimberley and Corey Ellis have filed a legal notice on Farmingdale school district for negligently hiring a bus company with a long history of safety violations
- The pair are claiming $10 million for their daughter’s injuries which include broken ribs, lung damage, head wounds and disfigurement
The parents of a high school girl injured after a charter bus on its way to band camp crashed into the woods killing two are now suing her Long Island school district and claim the hired bus company has a history of safety violations.
Parents Kimberley and Corey Ellis have filed a legal notice on Farmingdale school district for hiring Nesconset-based Regency Transportation LTD.
The company has had several federal safety violations and was on a recent list of ‘unacceptable operators.’
According to the New York Post, the parents want $10 million for injuries to their daughter, which includes broken ribs, lung damage, head wounds and disfigurement.
They also demand $2 million in damages for themselves, and for the district to cover the cost of their daughter’s medical and psychological care.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states the bus company has been cited for 25 violations since 2021. This year alone, the company failed five inspections.
The violations include defective bus emergency exits, inoperable brake lamps, inoperable headlamps and oil and grease leaks.
Jared Cooper, who represents the family, told The Post: ‘The school has a responsibility to act when the students are in their custody, and they failed to do that.’
He also said that the school ‘recklessly’ failed to tell parents that the bus company had been placed by New York state on the list of unacceptable operators and did not ensure that the bus was ‘safely and properly owned.’
Cooper specified that the bus company was ‘woefully’ underinsured to be transporting students and did not have adequate insurance to cover all of the claims.
The Farmingdale School District told various outlets it cannot comment on pending litigation. Officials with Regency Transportation LTD said they didn’t know MailOnline.com and didn’t want to participate.
Only a notice claim has been issued, which is a necessary step whenever a public entity is being sued. A lawsuit will soon be filed against the school and bus company.
The crash happened when a bus overturned ten miles from the nearest exit on the two-lane highway close, to the Orange County town of Wawayanda.
It was leading a convoy of six buses carrying 300 students in total, mainly ninth graders, from Farmingdale High School in Nassau County to the marching band camp music event at Pine Forest in Greeley, Pennsylvania.
The bus left the busy road about 75 miles north-west of New York City and toppled down an embankment before coming to a rest on its side in the woods.
It caused the death of two teachers: Gina Pellettiere, 43, and Beatrice Ferrari, 77, and left six injured.
Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, confirmed the deaths and described it as ‘a day of terror’ for the 44 people – four adults and 40 students – on board.
She said all 44 people on board were removed from the wreckage within 45 minutes.
The injured were taken to Westchester County Medical Center or Garnet Health Medical Center in Wallkill, with two Medivac helicopters assisting in the rescue effort.
Anthony Eugenio, a student, was in the bus and recalled it rolling over several times before it came to a stop.
He called his family to say he was a little banged up.
‘He said he is really sore. He’s got a big bump on his leg. He’s got blood on his pants from somebody else,’ his father said.
‘The person next to him was covered in blood.’
Anthony had to borrow a friend’s phone because he lost his in the crash.
‘It was pretty nerve-wracking,’ his father said.
‘When you get news like that and your son is two and half hours away — it’s pretty scary.’
The bus carried the logo of the Regency Luxury Charter Bus Company from Smithtown, New York, and was about 100 miles into its journey to the annual four-day weekend camp when the accident happened.
The cause of the crash is still unknown and the National Transportation Safety Board said it was monitoring it.
The September trip to band camp is an annual tradition at the school, which has 1,700 students.
It is attended by members of its marching band, color guard and kick line team along with adult chaperones.