In what local news sources are calling a freak accident, two men fell through the back window of a Boston Colonial Tours charter bus on Route 2 in Shirley, Massachusetts, Saturday night, leaving one man dead and another injured.
The accident occurred at about 10:20 p.m. as the bus was hauling a group on a 12-hour pub crawl back to Gardner, Massachusetts, after visiting a New Hampshire brewery.
A 34-year-old Gardner man who survived the fall and is now recovering from severe head trauma said he has no recollection of the events leading up to the two men falling out of the tour bus’ large bathroom window.
Apparently, the bus was traveling about 60 mph, and it is believed that the bus driver had no idea the two passengers had fallen out until five miles down the road when he was informed by police. A state trooper found the two men lying in the breakdown lane of Route 2.
A 31-year-old man from Gardner, who was an ex-marine, died at the scene. The two men had never met before the accident, and although media reports have speculated that the two had been fighting, family and friends of the men are skeptical. Further, people on the bus said that there had been no signs of animosity between the two.
Police believe that alcohol could have played a factor in the accident but continue to investigate, and no charges have been filed. The mother of the man who survived said that she blamed defective equipment on the tour bus for causing the accident, but police would not confirm this when asked by reporters.
It is somewhat likely that a wrongful death and possible personal injury lawsuit will result from this accident. While police have noted that they believe alcohol played a role in the accident, it is still possible that the tour bus company could be held partly liable, especially since alcohol consumption should have been presumed on the pub crawl.
What is certain is that a thorough investigation will take place to help determine what caused this freak accident.
Source: Boston Herald, “Fatal tumble out of pub-crawl tour bus,” Chris Cassidy and Natalie Sherman, 4/4/2011.