Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pittston woman seeks $150K in 2011 Martz crash

Rose Mary Sciandra says she is still suffering effects of wreck

January 02. 2014 10:15PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A Pittston woman is seeking more than $150,000 for injuries she said she suffered in a 2011 Martz Trailways bus crash in Lackawanna County that killed a man.

Rose Mary Sciandra, who was a passenger on the bus, filed suit against the Wilkes-Barre-based bus company on Dec. 23 in Luzerne County Court.

The crash occurred at about 11:30 p.m. on the snowy night of March 6, 2011, along Interstate 380 in Clifton Township.

According to police records, the driver of a 2007 Nissan lost control of the vehicle and stopped in the middle of the highway, where it was struck by a 2002 Buick Century driven by Lamont Phillips, 41, of Pittston.

After that crash, Phillips got out of his car and stood by the passenger side. He and his vehicle were then struck by the bus, which had swerved to avoid hitting the Nissan, state police said. The bus then struck a guard rail and flipped onto its passenger side, according to contemporary reports.

Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene.

Reports from 2011 indicated there were about 30 passengers on the bus, which was traveling to Scranton from New York City. Passengers escaped the overturned bus after the windshield was removed by firefighters from the Gouldsboro and Covington fire departments.

Sciandra is only the latest passenger to file suit.

In court papers, Sciandra cites numerous injuries, including a fractured nose, broken teeth and spinal cord damage. She also says she continues to suffer from the effects of the crash, including pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and continues to require medical treatment.

Sciandra’s suit alleges negligence by Martz and its bus driver, Patrick Graham of Old Forge. Among her claims are that Graham did not “maintain a sharp lookout of the road and the surrounding traffic conditions,” and that Martz allowed Graham to operate a bus without proper training and “without sufficient ability to operate the motor vehicle safely.”

Sciandra is represented by Moosic-based attorney Joseph E. Mariotti of the Caputo and Mariotti law firm.

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