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Limo Crash Brings To Mind Another Car Fire Crash

A limousine crash in Upstate New York crash which occurred on Saturday, October 6th, took the lives of 20 people.  All 18 occupants, including the driver of the limousine and two pedestrians, were killed in the fiery crash. This accident is the deadliest in nine years.

According to an article appearing on the Houston Chronicle website, the New York crash serves as a sad reminder of a similar crash in which 23 elderly residents of a nursing home in Bellaire were killed during an evacuation for Hurricane Rita.

On September 23, 2005, one of the two buses chartered by the Brighton Gardens Nursing Home caught fire along Interstate 45, just 35 miles short of its destination. On board were which had been carrying 37 elderly patients, six healthcare workers and an additional staffer.

While fire crews were evacuating people, the bus suddenly exploded. Investigations would reveal that the explosion happened when the flames reached the oxygen tank of one of the patients. Investigations conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would determine that the initial fire was caused by a rear axle on the bus which overheated, causing a fire in the wheel well which quickly spread throughout the rest of the vehicle. Federal investigators concluded that the overheating was caused by insufficient lubrication of the axel.

The surviving family members of those killed in the crash filed a lawsuit against both the nursing home and the bus company, alleging that the bus had not been properly screened before the nursing home contracted with the bus company. The families received an $80 million dollar settlement in the case.

Federal agencies including the NHTSA are still currently investigating the October 6th crash at the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, located approximately 170 miles north of New York City.

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