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Suit Filed In 2018 Crash Involving School Bus

A man whose vehicle collided with a bus in 2018 has filed suit against the Southwestern Central School District and the bus driver involved.

The complaint, filed in Chautauqua County Supreme Court on July 30, states that Jamestown resident Curtis-Lee Smith was involved in a crash with a bus operated by Janet Carlson at the intersection of Big Tree-Sugar Grove Road and Baker Street Ext. in Busti on Dec. 14, 2018, around 8:59 a.m.

Smith claims to have suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash. The complaint cites New York state insurance law for the scope of injuries applicable to the December collision. In it, Smith also claims to have suffered “pain and suffering, and/or permanent and progressive injuries; has suffered or may suffer lifestyle or loss of enjoyment of life and or economic losses or expenses all of which are causally related to the subject incident.”

The complaint claims Carlson failed to do the following: yield the right of way; complete a timely stop; apply the brakes; keep a proper lookout; keep the vehicle under proper, prudent and reasonable control; obey traffic signs at location, comply with New York state statutes and ordinances; and was being careless, reckless and negligent.

Smith is being represented by Buffalo attorney David Wolff of Cantor and Wolff.

“My guy was injured in the motor vehicle collision and he could be affected by this for the rest of his life,” Wolff told The Post-Journal.

In the accident report by the Lakewood-Busti Police Department, Carlson claimed Smith’s vehicle signaled a right turn before continuing straight and striking the bus that had entered the intersection.

“It was a very serious motor vehicle collision,” Wolff said.

Carlson was issued a summons the day of the incident for failing to yield the right of way to Smith. Maureen Donahue, Southwestern superintendent, said there were no students on the bus at the time of the crash. She said she was not able to discuss specifics of the suit.

“It’s an ongoing case being handled by our insurance company,” Donahue told The Post-Journal.

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