(PIX11) – A freak bus accident in West New York, New Jersey claimed the life of an 8-month-old baby and landed the bus driver in jail. He faces serious charges after cops say he was using his cell phone while driving at the time of the accident.
The tragedy unfolded at about 12:45 Tuesday afternoon when Idowu Daramola, 48, lost control of the bus while dropping off passengers at Boulevard East and 56th St, according to Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari. Witnesses said the bus’s wheels started spinning and it took off slamming into two lampposts and a number of parked cars. One of the lampposts came crashing down onto a stroller killing little 8 month old Angela Paredes. “It was devastating,” said one woman who watched a police officer attempt to save the child’s life. “The bus was on the sidewalk, the car was pretty much smashed into the bus, it was horrifying; the officer when he picked up the baby there was blood gushing.” That officer tried to revive the child but she did not survive.
Vickie Cepeda lives next door and is close to the family of little Angela Paredes. She told PIX11, “I just want to let people know they were wonderful people. They were immersed in their little girls life.” She added “Someone needs to regulate those buses.”
Cepeda’s comments appeared to be on the mark. To make the tragedy even worse, the bus driver should not have been behind the wheel in the first place according to authorities because he had two outstanding warrants for operating a bus illegally and failing to show up in court.
Officials say the owners of the bus, the Sphinx bus company should have known about the warrants and could be held liable. But at the company’s offices in Ridgewood, New Jersey Adel Alexander told PIX11 they did all the paperwork needed to clear Daramola to drive when he joined the company about two years ago. He did acknowledge something could have happened after the driver started working for the company that he may not have told them about. Alexander said so far they have been unable to speak to the driver and haven’t heard anything official.
Idowu Daramola is due in court Wednesday.