Addison Woman, 23, Died In Crash With School Bus In Town Of Erwin; Students And Bus Driver Uninjured

The driver of this vehicle was killed Wednesday morning in a crash involving an Addison school bus. (The Leader newspaper)

The 23-year-old driver of this vehicle was killed Wednesday morning in a crash involving an Addison school bus. (The Leader newspaper)

New York State Police have identified 23-year-old Kayanna Lehman of Addison as the driver of the sedan who was killed Wednesday morning when her car crossed the center line on a Steuben County highway and struck an Addison Central School District bus head-on.

Lehman was killed in the 7:45 a.m. crash Wednesday on state Route 417 in the Town of Erwin. There were no injuries on the bus, which had a driver and nine students, according to the school district.

Troopers said they don’t know why Lehman’s vehicle crossed the center line. Weather was not a factor in the crash.

Troopers said Lehman was pronounced dead at the scene. Two children in her vehicle were not injured. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage, troopers said.

The district sent the students on the bus to Guthrie Corning Hospital in East Corning for evaluation. The bus was transporting the students to a program outside the school district.

Addison Central School District Superintendent Joseph DioGuardi said that two of the children on the bus were elementary school students and the others were high school students.

There are seat belts on the bus, but DioGuardi did not know if students were wearing them at the time of the crash.

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Adam Gee
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Gov. Cuomo Calls For Tougher Laws For School Buses


The number is staggering: 150,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses in New York State EVERY YEAR, according to state law enforcement agencies’ estimates. That’s 150,000 drivers in 180 school days a year!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

To address that stunning statistic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed some important changes to make our streets and roads safer for schoolchildren getting on and off buses at all times of the day. And with a Democratic-controlled Legislature behind him, Cuomo’s proposal has a good chance of becoming law.

In his recent 2020 budget proposal, which is supposed to be approved by the Legislature by April 1, Cuomo called for authorizing school districts to install cameras in the stop-sign arms on buses to capture photos of vehicles and drivers that break the law.

He also wants to increase the fine for passing a stopped school bus, and here’s what could be the biggest change for New York State families and schools:

Cuomo wants to require all students to wear seat belts on school buses.

New York State’s school bus seat belt law requires all school buses manufactured after July 1, 1987, to be equipped with seat belts BUT the state does not currently mandate seat belt use on school buses, but rather, leaves the a decision to each school district.

Many of the local districts don’t require student seat belt use, according to transportation policies on their district websites.

The proposal, which has a good chance of becoming law, could lead to some short-term headaches for school districts and their bus drivers as they get students in the habit of buckling up.

“The safety of New York’s schoolchildren is our top priority and reckless drivers who put our kids in danger must be held accountable,” Gov. Cuomo said in announcing the proposal. “Motorists have a responsibility to pay attention and abide by the law, especially when driving in the vicinity of school buses, and these measures will ensure students make it to and from school safely and help prevent needless tragedies.”

downloadState Senator Tom O’Mara of the Southern Tier supports Cuomo’s proposal.

“The State Legislature has taken many actions to strengthen school bus safety and to continually try to encourage, enhance and enforce motorist safety,” he said in a prepared statement. “I believe it should be a fundamental priority and responsibility. The Governor has thrown his support behind commonsense actions this session, including the installation of stop-arm cameras on school buses, which the Senate unanimously approved last year. This action can make a difference and I strongly support its inclusion in this year’s budget.”

In New York, Cuomo said, 1.5 million students ride school buses to and from school every year.

The penalties in New York State and Pennsylvania for passing a stopped school bus are stiff and will likely get tougher soon in New York.

According to New York State’s Operation Safe Stop, the penalties for passing a stopped school bus now are:

First conviction, fines from $250 to $400 and up to 30 days in jail.

Second conviction, $600 to $750 in fines and up to 180 days in jail.

Third conviction, $750 to $1,000 in fines and up to 180 days in jail.

In Pennsylvania, drivers convicted could face a $250 fine and a possible 60-day suspension of their license.

What do you think of mandatory seat-belt use on school buses? Please add your comments below ….

If you want to learn more:

Cuomo announcement.

New York’s Operation Safe Stop.

PENNDOT school bus safety information.

U.S. Department of Transportation on School Bus Safety.

Thanks for reading,


Jim Reed
Managing Partner
Best Lawyers’ “2015 & 2017 & 2019 Lawyer of the Year”
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
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Careless Avoca School Bus Driver Drags Girl Almost A Half-Mile, Says NY and PA Injury Lawyer


Bus stop signA careless school bus driver dragged a Steuben County girl for almost a half-mile Tuesday, Fortunately, the little girl was not seriously injured.

According to local news reports here and here:

The girl’s book bag got hung up on the bus door as she was leaving the Avoca Central School bus at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on County Route 55 in the Town of Fremont, north of Hornellsville.

The girl, who was not identified by police, was dragged four-tenths of a mile before the driver noticed her!

Bus drivers are required to watch the students to make sure they are clear of the bus before even shutting off the flashing lights, much less starting down the road. At this point, no one knows what this bus driver was doing but he or she certainly wasn’t paying any attention to the student  – which is the driver’s primary responsibility.

The girl was treated at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell for foot injuries and released.

Police are still investigating the incident.  Anyone with information concerning this incident is urged to call the local authorities.

Thanks for reading,


Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

Police Investigate ‘Really Scary’ School Bus Crash, Says NY and PA Accident Lawyer

Police are investigating an accident Monday that injured schoolchildren in Bradford County.

A school bus accident is one of parents’ worst nightmares. Fortunately for parents in northern Pennsylvania, a crash Monday involving a school bus and a minivan does not appear to have been serious.

Please notice that I said it “does not appear to have been serious.” Sometimes, minor accidents can cause serious injuries that are not immediately evident. That is why I always encourage all accident victims to be checked by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident, even if they feel OK.

Some of the students told WETM-TV it was one of the scariest moments of their lives. Any accident involving a bus full of children is SERIOUS.

Here is what happened Monday, according to WETM-TV:

State Police in Bradford County said a minivan rear-ended a school bus carrying the Canton Junior High School girls and boys basketball teams at Woodruff Road and State Route 414 in Leroy Township.

Students told police the bus stopped quickly when a car in front of the bus stopped suddenly to make a turn.

Ten children were sent to hospitals in Towanda and Troy to be checked for possible injuries.

WETM spoke with two of the girls leaving Troy Community Hospital Monday evening.

An eighth-grader, Lizzy Tymeson, told WETM: “All of a sudden, we slammed on the brakes because the car in front of us was going really fast and wanted to turn. When we slammed on the brakes, our heads slammed forward. The car went into us too fast. It was really scary.”

Lizzy said her twin sister was being tested for a possible concussion.

A seventh-grader, Jewell Vanryn, said, “It’s kind of scary because you don’t expect things like that to happen because you don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you.”

State police said no one suffered life-threatening injuries. The teams were headed to Towanda.

State police declined to identify the drivers involved or any other details as of Tuesday.

Residents of Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers, remember to always get checked by a doctor, even if it is a “minor” motor vehicle accident!

Thanks for reading.

Thanks, Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
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