Teen survives fall from moving bus

November 22, 2010 1:08:50 PM PST
There is an investigation into how dozens of teenagers were able to ride around in a party bus with no supervision. Police say alcohol was on the bus. And what's worse, one teen fell from the bus while it was headed down Montauk Highway. The teens attended school in Hampton Bays.

Police say the bus inspection report will help determine if the incident is negligence on the bus company's behalf, involving a faulty window, or if it was a kid who popped the window open. They're also looking into alcohol containers allegedly found on this bus.

The luxury bus now parked in the police impound lot, and it is the focus of the investigation as to what caused an emergency window to bust open. Authorities say 17-year-old Eric Jimenez feel out while the bus was traveling at 40 miles an hour.

"There's evidence he rolled or skidded about 52 feet after hitting the pavement," Police Chief Todd Sarris said. "For him not to sustain severe injuries is just mind boggling."

Jimenez was one of 36 students, ranging in age from 13 to 19, who charted the bus for the night from M and V Corporate Transportation in Commack. It's a party bus and limo service that operates from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. with a DJ on board. But Saturday night, while heading to Montauk, the party took a turn and the student fell out of the window backwards.

"The way the bus is configured, he was sitting on a couch and he leaned back and went out the window that way," Sarris said. "So we need to know if the latch was defective or the window was open."

Cops say the students had no chaperones on board, and an undisclosed adult paid for the bus with a credit card.

Authorities also say they found beer and liquor bottles in the aisle and all along the side of the road where the incident happened.

"We have credible evidence there was alcohol," Sarris said. "Who supplied it?"

Students at Hampton Bays High School, where most of the kids on the bus go to school, say they're thankful Jimenez survived the ordeal. But they said different things about who is at fault.

"Drinking. Kids. Underage. Yep," Joseph Boyd said.

"The bus driver should've paid more attention," Meghan McManus said. "It's the buses responsibility."

Another student says she was on the bus and there was alcohol allowed. Sarris says he spoke to the victim when he visited him in the hospital, and he denies drinking on the bus. It will be up to the district attorney whether any charges will be filed.