Drunk Tour Bus Driver Kills Pedestrian in Manhattan

05/09/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

New York, NY — A tour bus driver, who was drinking behind the wheel, plowed down a pedestrian in midtown on Saturday, May 7 ,2011. The bus accident occurred at the intersection of Ninth Ave. and 47th St., where the pedestrian was dragged nearly 30 feet under a rear wheel, report the New York Daily News.

According to officials, the bus driver, Steve Drappel, 57, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was sipping on vodka in a silver-colored travel mug while driving a nighttime tour bus through Manhattan.

When the bus turned onto Ninth Ave. at 47th St. it slammed into Timothy White, 29, of Philadelphia, and dragged him nearly 30 feet under a rear wheel. It wasn’t until tourists flagged down the bus driver, alerting him that he had hit someone, that he stopped the bus.

White was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He reportedly died of massive injuries.

Police officers uncovered a half-full bottle of Smirnoff vodka, as well as $1,300 in cash on the bus. A Breathalyzer test done at the scene showed that Drappel had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14. Another test done at the precinct showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08, twice the legal limit of 0.04 for commercial drivers.

Drappel was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, DWI and criminally negligent homicide. He is being held on a $50,000 cash bail.

The tour was run by Chinatown operator L & L Travel, but the bus belongs to TraveLynx of Cocoa, Fla., Dappel’s employer.

This isn’t the first time Drappel drove drunk, he received a DWI charge in Kentucky in 2004.

Investigations are underway.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New York bus accident lawyers.

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