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Arrest Warrants in Shuttle Bus Crash

Thumbnail image for Truck9.jpgThe College Park police issued warrants for those believe to have been involved in a hotel shuttle bus crash. The three persons for whom warrants were issued were expected to surrender yesterday. According to CBS Atlanta, the warrants were issued for a shuttle services manager and two drivers that they say were driving during a hotel shuttle bus crash last month. The accident occurred on Loop Road which is near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. In my work as an Atlanta bus accident lawyer, I know that the injuries involved can be serious.

This crash occurred late last month when a truck driver made a U-turn after realizing that he was going the wrong direction. During the turn, the shuttle bus hit the trailer of the truck. In this crash, the shuttle bus driver along with 16 passengers were injured. It is now suspected that the brakes on the bus may not have been in proper working order.

The truck driver is charged with several violations of Georgia law, including making an improper left turn and causing serious injuries with his motor vehicle. Under Georgia law, if you are driving recklessly (Official Code of Georgia section 40-6-390) and you cause serious injury to others, you can be charged under Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-394 which defines serious injury as “bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof.” Bone fractures, burns, loss of consciousness and other physical issues can also constitute serious injuries in Georgia.

The shuttle driver is also facing charges. She is alleged to have been driving the shuttle without a proper Georgia driver’s license and operating a vehicle that was not safe.

The owner of the shuttle bus company stated that drivers are required to do a safety inspection of their shuttles before they take on passengers for the day. He apparently has already hired a safety consultant to help create safer traveling for all, but it is too late for this incident. He said he will be implementing improvements to ensure that drivers are properly licensed with commercial licenses and perform inspections under the supervision of a manager. He seems to believe that the potential lack of appropriate licensing in the case of the shuttle driver here, was an oversight.

Undoubtedly, if the passengers have sustained ongoing injuries, which often cannot be known for some period of time, the shuttle bus company and the trucking company and others might well end up in civil litigation for what appears to be negligence on their part.

Commercial transportation such as buses, cabs and shuttles have different levels of responsibility than do others on the roads. Applying for a commercial driver’s license in Georgia requires a written test and a driving test by appointment only. For information on how to get a commercial driver’s license, go to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Commercial driver’s licenses are required under the following circumstances: if you will drive a combination of vehicles weighing 26, 001 pounds or more; if you will drive a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 26, 001 pounds or more; if you are transporting 15 or more persons (including the driver) in a vehicle designed for carrying this number of passengers; or if you will drive a vehicle of any size that requires hazardous material placards.

Being injured in a bus crash or by a truck poses a different legal circumstance than being injured after an accident with a passenger vehicle. This is because buses, cabs and other forms of commercial transportation have different responsibilities to their passengers. Please contact me at any time for a free consultation on your bus or truck accident or injuries. I can help you assess your legal rights and your medical support.