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Garvey v. Public Service Co-Ordinated Transport

Decided: January 29, 1948.

JAMES GARVEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
PUBLIC SERVICE CO-ORDINATED TRANSPORT, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the plaintiff-appellant, John C. Barbour.

For the defendant-respondent, Carl T. Freggens (Luke A. Kiernan, Jr., of counsel).

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. This is an appeal from a judgment entered in the New Jersey Supreme Court, Passaic Circuit, following direction of verdict in favor of the defendant, Public Service Co-ordinated Transport, and against the plaintiff, James Garvey.

The facts and circumstances of this case are not in dispute. Between half-past eight and nine o'clock on the evening of October 7th, 1942, the plaintiff was a passenger on a bus owned by the defendant. Plaintiff was sitting on the front seat, on the right-hand side of the bus across the aisle from the driver.

Immediately preceding the accident the bus was proceeding in a general northerly direction along North Main Street in the City of Paterson. A stop was made at the southeasterly corner of North Main Street and North Straight Street in order to pick up a passenger. At this intersection North Straight Street was eighty feet wide on the easterly side of North Main Street, and only forty-eight feet wide on the

westerly side, with the northerly curb of North Straight Street being in the same line on each side of North Main Street.

East of North Main Street, North Straight Street was divided into two lanes by a park. The southern lane was offset in such manner that traffic moving in an easterly direction on North Straight Street would have to bear to the right in crossing North Main Street so as to continue on in the proper lane. From North Main Street going westerly North Straight Street rose at a two per cent. grade for one block of approximately 250 feet, and then ended in Haledon Avenue which rose at an eight to ten per cent. grade.

After making the stop as indicated above, defendant's bus entered the intersection on North Main Street and proceeded across North Straight Street at an even speed of from three to five miles per hour. When the bus had reached a point at least three-quarters of the way across North Straight Street, it was struck by a truck being driven by one Josey, which had been going in an easterly direction on North Straight Street. The point of impact on the bus was between the middle and rear of the left side, and when the vehicles stopped, they were both within North Main Street north of the intersection with no part of either vehicle extending into the intersection.

The movement of the Josey truck was described by a Mrs. Asay, a witness for the plaintiff, who was a passenger on the bus sitting just behind the driver on the left-hand side. As the bus was crossing the intersection, she was looking through the window on the left side in a westerly direction up North Straight Street. When she first saw the truck, it was approximately 150 feet away, coming toward the intersection, and moving across North Straight Street from its right to the left-hand side of the street. The truck had no lights, and was "coming very fast." Later evidence showed it to have been heavily loaded with cord wood.

Additional evidence of a police officer testifying for the defendant showed that there were tire marks from the truck which started approximately 200 feet west of the intersection. These marks substantiated the fact that the truck had moved from ...


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